Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kansas City Here I Come

It's hard to believe that a little over one year ago I was deep in the throes of childbirth.  I have such spotty memory of that day (days) and the subsequent year that brings me here.  The past 12 months have been great and new and educational and hard and full and fleeting.  Just when I think I have something figured out, something changes.  

I've been quiet here for quite some time, numerous reasons for that- I have very little time to myself these days to do things like blog.  I am currently not in the fitness "zone" so I feel I'd be doing a disservice to try and talk about eating good things and awesome workouts when I'm not.  I also got a promotion at work that has not only been kicking my butt, but has me relocating 1,800 miles from Seattle to Kansas City.  Kansas.

The past 5 or 6 weeks have been nuts.  Getting our house ready to put on the market, trips to Kansas City to look for new housing, putting our house on the market, meetings, deadlines, new projects, interviews to fill my position in Seattle, selling our home, packing, and planning the logistics of a move that will take at least 4 days with a one year old and a dog.  

We make the move in less than 1 week.  We are ready.  We will be ready.  We have to be ready. 

I have mixed feelings about leaving Seattle.  I notice on one hand I keep trying to focus on the things that I don't like about the area.  This is probably a way of me trying to distance myself from this place and make a clean break.  On the other hand, I find myself incredibly nostalgic for a place that has held so many important milestones and life events for me the past 13 years.  

I moved here September 15, 2001 after I graduated from college.  Like any fresh college graduate, I thought I knew everything and was going to change the world.  Luckily, life handed me my ass over and over and my learning REALLY began.  I met my now husband in 2004.  I bought my first property (condo) in 2006.  I got my first "real" job (in my degree field) in 2007.  My now husband (then bf) bought our first home in 2010.  I got a new job with a huge well-respected company- the kind of company one stays with for their entire career in 2011.  I got engaged in 2011.  We married September 15, 2012.  Our baby boy was born September 22, 2013.  All here in Seattle.  That is a whole lot of life.  And these are just the MAJOR things.  Infinite significant experiences happened between and during these milestones.  Friends made, friends lost.  Friends moved away, friends returned.  Vacations, road trips, BBQ's, parties...way too much to wrap my head around.

Now we move to Kansas CitySeptember 30, 2014.  I'm excited for all that is in store for this new chapter in our lives.  I've decided that good-byes here are hard, and awkward, and I wish I could avoid them.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sprint Tri Re-Cap

A little over 16 weeks ago I closed my eyes and jumped.  I registered for a sprint triathlon.  With about four months to prepare, I figured it was on the edge of do-able.  I immediately put together a training schedule and figured out a way to get swim workouts in.  Afterall, I knew I could bike 12 miles.  I knew I could run a 5K, the only unknown initially was how a 1/3mi swim would be.  Oh, and then combining all of those events. 
When I posted about registering for the sprint tri, I noted how typically registering for events like this has the opposite of the intended effect- instead of training dilligently and being at the top of my game, I tend to do nothing and then panic at the last moment.  This experience was slightly different, but I was still very panicked the last 3 weeks leading up to the event, and considered bailing on it altogether many times. 
I've lived in Seattle now for 13 years.  In my time here, I've done many events.  Too many 5K's to count, a half-marathon, a 69-flight stair climb, a mud/obstacle run, and now this sprint triathlon.  Of all the 5K's, I think I was in shape/properly trained for maaaybe 2 of them.  But, 5K's are short.  You can walk one in under an hour.  I've written before about my half-marathon disaster.  The stair climb was pure hell, and the mud run I badly sprained my ankle on the first obstacle and had to be carried off the course on a race volunteer's back.  Not my finest moment.  Of all the events I've done that I've been ill-prepared for, this was by far the most painless. 
The first 2 1/2 months of my training schedule went great.  I did everything as written, I was feeling good about my pool swims, my runs, and my bike. I just needed to put road tires on my bike, and then I would be good.  Around 4th of July or so, my scheule hit some bumps as I began traveling a lot for holidays and work.  Some other life stuff hit mid-July and continues now, so to say I had a lot on my plate is an understatement.  I still tried to find time to fit in workouts when I could, but I wasn't getting in all the elements evenly the last 3-4 weeks before the event.  This did a number on my confidence.  Also?  I hadn't lost a single pound.  Not one. 
I began to doubt myself, my training, I was worried about the size of my body and how I would look going into the water, coming out of the water, and along the course.  Just general stupid stuff.  I wrote before about the challenges I was having with swimming in open water vs. a pool.  I decided that a) I would just go through with it, b) just focus on one element at a time, c) realize that this is where I'm at right now and own it, and d) just get through the swim. 
The day before the event, I met my friend down at registration where we picked up our race packets, bibs, timing chips and racked our bikes.  As I was in line to get my stuff, I was blown away at all the shapes, sizes, and ages of the participants.  My self-consciousness began to fade.  I had to force myself to remember all the work I did leading up to this event, and not get caught up in the fact my body was still the same size it was prior to training.  I had been in a pool or lake at least once a week for 15 weeks leading up to the event.  I had run at least 2 twice a week for the 16 weeks leading up to the event.  I had biked enough to know I could do 12 miles just fine.  Could I have done more?  Maybe.  Was it possible for me to do more given all the circumstances?  Not likely.  I was as ready as I was going to be. 
Race day I woke up at 4am, made coffee, got all my stuff ready and headed for the shuttle.  I made it to the bike transition area a little before 6a, and set up my station.  My friends that were doing the race found me, and we chatted for a bit.  They began kicking us out of the transition area at 6:15, and herded us to the boat ramp for the swim entry.  The first wave (oldest) participants began at 6:45, and my start wasn't until 7:15.  So we had an hour to just hang out and wait to get in the water.  The sunrise was beautiful, and many friends/supporters were there to talk to.  Finally it was time to line up and start easing towards the water.  No turning back now.  As my group was called into the water, we waded in and listened to the countdown.  We were off.  I hit start on my watch.  It was a sea of bubbles and legs and arms.  I just gently breast-stroked my way along and got used to being in the water.  The remainder of the swim, I did a combination of breast stroke and free-style.  There were people doing all sorts of strokes, all different speeds.  I felt pretty good about the swim.  When I emerged from the water I checked my watch -16:24.  Not bad.  I jogged sopping wet to my bike, wrapped a towel around me, sat down on my other towel and dried my feet- putting my shoes and socks on.  I ripped off my swim cap, took off my wet tank top and put on my tech shirt with bib attached, stood up, put my helmet on, and walked my bike out of the transition area.  I looked at my watch, 22:00 so T1 took me 5 minutes.  Not bad. 
There was a sign marking where we were allowed to mount our bikes and start the ride.  Some competitors behind me were riding out of the transition area and were told to dismount until the proper riding area.  Ha.  I began the 12 mile ride and immediately started passing people, and people were passing me.  I felt good.  Just out for a bike ride.  The bike portion had a few good up hills and corresponding downhills, which were reversed on the way back.  I hit the turn around point at 46ish minutes according to my watch, so it took me 24 minutes to get there.  I figured I was on track for 48 minute total ride.  The ride back seemed a lot longer.  I remember the last mile or so thinking "it didn't seem this long on the way out."  I passed a girl really close to the end of the bike ride, and when I was in front of her I heard the distinct sound of a tire popping.  I felt bad for her, but at least she only had 1/4 mile to walk her bike.  I dismounted my bike where I was told, and walked into the transition area.  Holy cow, walking after all that biking?  My legs were like lead.  I racked my bike, took off my helmet, and headed out.  I didn't need to change shoes or anything in T2. 
My jog was slow and pained.  My lungs felt fine, it was my legs...they were so heavy.  I had done one training workout where I did a 30 minute bike ride, then a 15 minute run, so I sort of knew that after a bit my legs would feel better, but WOW, this was so much more intense.  By the time my legs felt better, my lungs were now struggling.  I just wanted to keep moving.  I was going slow, but jogging.  I was passing people/people were passing me.  The sun was hot on my face.  I had to keep reminding myself that I had swam for 15 minutes, then biked for 50 before doing this...of course it was going to be hard.  About 1/4 mile after passing the 2 mile mark, there was a short steep hill.  I jogged up as much of it as I could.  Husbands and boyfriends of other competitors I knew were BBQ'ing at the top of the hill.  I waved, they cheered me on.  It was nice.  Once I reached the top of the hill, I knew the rest of the race was all down hill- figuratively and literally.  I promised myself to jog the whole way, and that is what I did.  I looked at my watch when I crossed the line, 1:54and change.  I was very happy with that. 
Given the circumstances, I was calculating a 2:30ish worst case finish time, and was happy to come in under 2 hours.  I could possibly see myself doing another sprint triathlon.  The distances for each event were just right, and it is nice not just doing one thing for a long time- i.e. running for two hours.  If I do another one, I will for SURE get a road bike, and work on my bike-run workouts more.  I was happy I went through with the event, and didn't succumb to my insecurities. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Open Water Swims

My triathlon is 3 weeks and 3 days away.  I'm really feeling the crunch now and the doubt is creeping in.  Somehow I thought I'd be so much farther along at this point.  But, that is just my head getting the best of me because I know that I have been doing more exercise wise in the past 3 months because of this event than I would be if I hadn't signed up.  That's the whole point, right?
Last week my friend that talked me into this business wanted to go test out an open water swim.  I thought that would be a good idea since all of my swims so far had been in the pool.  Finding a time that worked for both of us was tough- she is ridiculously busy all the time, and I have a baby to watch pretty much whenever I'm not at  Anyway, we finally figured that5:30am on Fridays would work. 
We met at the swim spot last Friday on a cool morning when the previous days had been in the 90's (cruel trick, Seattle).  We found an entry point to the lake and discussed our plan of attack.  She was in a wetsuit, me in my mom speedo suit.  I could see the lake plants growing up from the bottom and pooling at the surface.  There were mosquitoes buzzing around.  I stepped into the water, and it was warm.  Like, bath tub warm.  So, that was nice.  I pushed out and we started to breast stroke out to deeper water.  The whole time plants were caressing my bare legs and arms and it was freaking me out.  We got to a place that was deeper and seemingly less plant-y.  "Alright.  On the count of three.  Let's try to make it to the end of that dock."  I put my head down and began to free-style.  When my head went into the murky water, I could see nothing but murkiness and plants below me.  It freaked me out.  I kept trying to swim, but now my breath was all out of sorts.  I stopped.  My friend had stopped.  "This is creepy" I said.  "Don't look underwater" she said.  Yeah, too late for that. 
We would swim a few strokes, stop, catch our panicked breath, and keep going.  We were never able to get away from the plants, and the whole thing was just hard without any sort of direction.  "I'm over this she said."  Thank god I was thinking.  "Me too!"  So we swam to the nearest dock, climbed up the ladder, and that was that.  I would hardly call it a workout, more of a fact finding mission.  I began to get really nervous for the swim portion of the race.  The part that I was least worried about suddenly became my biggest nightmare.   
A few hours after this first swim, we exchanged some text messages.  "I think we just need to suck it up" she said "next Friday try again?"  "Yes" I shot back.  I then asked her if she knew of a better area we could go from that maybe wouldn't be so inundated with water plants.  She said she would think about it.  A few days ago she messaged me that she had a new location to try, and let's meet on Friday (today) at 5:30am
That is just what we did.  The new location was on the other side of the bay from where we were last week.  The water was deeper (and much colder) but there were no plants.  It was pretty much iconic "Sleepless in Seattle" as we swam in front of the fancy houseboats.  Today was SO. MUCH. BETTER.  I don't know if it was because I knew what to expect?  Or if having a row of houseboats next to us was comforting and also gave us something to sight off of?  Or if it was the plant-less water?  Either way, we were able to get a solid workout in.  One that we could both be proud of. 
On the agenda for me this weekend is getting my mountain bike tires switched out to road tires, a run, and another lake swim on Sunday.  I will get through this event.  I will get through this event. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Oh, Look, a Toilet

Anyone else restrict their water drinking after squat day so they don't have to use the bathroom as much?  No...just me?  Ok...moving on.
Being a mom is hard.  It is not hard for any of the reasons I thought it would be though.  I always thought watching your kid, feeding your kid, changing diapers, clothing changes, disciplining; you know, general child care would be hard.  No.  The hard part is everything else.  Even when you are not physically caring for your child, you are still caring- thinking about schedules, milestones, development, sleep, and general well-being of your child.  Mom's have to do it all.  There are no breaks, no times when we get to slack off or check out (silly me thought I would get a break when baby is sleeping). 
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it for anything, I just find this whole experience to be fascinating.  Things that are so OMG stressful and difficult and end of the world one day, are literally forgotten the next with a simple smile or babble from a tiny human.  I have no idea how it works.  I have to force myself to remember that there have been tough times.  Then, 3 hours later in the midst of a 20 minute over-tired scream fest, I can be back to questioning everything - am I doing something wrong?  Is there something wrong with my child?  How am I going to make it through this?  THIS. IS. HARD.  Magically, the 20 minutes of screaming (which is really an eternity) is forgotten seconds after tiny human falls heavy and deep into sleep.  If I didn't experience it myself, I would never believe it to be possible. 
I am amazed every day that somehow, someway, I create time to do it all.  The more I do, the more I do.  Yesterday, after 7 hours of sleep, I went to the gym located in the back room of my office and got in a 30 minute heavy lifting session before starting work at 5:30am.  I completed everything on my work to-do list and was bored by 11am.  Hubby met me at 1:30 to pass the kid off, and home we went.  We walked to the grocery store (3mi roundtrip), I watered the garden, I made dinner, loaded the dishwasher, emptied the diaper pail garbage, switched laundry, folded laundry, ate dinner while watching the baby eat some solid food, watched 30 minutes of OITNB while baby napped, put baby to bed, and packed up all my bags/lunches for the next day before retiring to bed at 8pm.  Oh, and there were diaper changes, bottles, and clothing changes sprinkled in as well.  I know, #humblebrag, right?  That is not my intention.  I'm just documenting for my own re-assurance. 
This morning I woke up with a little less sleep, didn't hit the work place gym, and have been at work for 3 hours with only a few replied-to e-mails under my belt.  I can't stop thinking that I'm not doing enough.  I haven't read a book to my baby in 3 days.  He needs to practice more with solid foods, and right now he only eats them sporadically.  Will he sleep better if he eats more real food?  Am I starving my baby?  It's bath night for him.  I need a shower.  The floors haven't been vacuumed in 4 days.  Kid is biting everything.  Is he going to be one of those weird biting kids?  I need to change his crib sheet, I think he peed on it a little last night.  Oh, and all his clean clothes are in a pile.  I need to put them away.  I should be getting these revised documents to my boss.  I'm hungry.  How can I be hungry?  I just had breakfast.  Oh, I'm going to make enchiladas for dinner tonight with the left-over chicken breast in the fridge.  Do I have vegetables?  Do I need to go to the store on the way home?  No.  We have salad.  I'm off schedule this week on my triathlon training.  I won't get to swim this week, and I haven't run any distance in a week.  I'll run today with the kid when I get home.  Then I'll read to him.  And make dinner.  And feed him some solids.  And give him a bath. And take a shower.  And hope that he sleeps well.  And hope that I sleep well.  Weights again tomorrow morning at 5am. I really need to get something done here today. 
Jesus.  I'm crazy.     

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bye Lululemon, Hello Costco

Wait, what?  Before you all think that I've taken a high dive into complete momdom...let me explain.  I love to workout.  I have always loved to workout. This means I have owned LOTS of workout clothes, and by proxy, makes me an expert.  :)
For the longest time, Target was my go-to for workout gear.  It was cheap, relatively stylish, and did I mention cheap?  In my early 20's I just could NOT fathom spending more than $14.99 on some running capris.  However, I had to buy capri's every few months because the quality was so poor.  But, $14.99!!!  Can't beat that!  After a few years of CrossFitting and wanting to be accepted into the cult, I succumed to my first pair of $85 running tights with the reflecty circle thing on the calf.  There was no denying the quality.  I finally got the hype.  My lululemon collection grew, and my nasty threadbare Target collection got trashed. 
My expensive workout gear has far surpassed the test of time.  I've had my first pair of Lulu tights for over 2 years now, worn no less than 2x/week, washed at least 2x/week, and they are still good as new.  The might be a little see-through when I bend over, but that's just because my butt is bigger than what was designed for (ha). 
The other day I was at Costco, and they had a big display of Lulu looking capri's and tanks.  They were so cheap, I figured even if I didn't like them for working out, I could just wear them around the house.  When I got home, I decided to go for a long walk, and thought I would test out my newly purchased gear.  I slid on the pants and tank, and fell in love.  They were so comfortable!  I thought to myself, surely I can't look as good as I feel?  I went over the the mirror and was blown away!  The clothes fit amazing, and looked amazing too.  I don't wear tank tops in public.  My arms are just too big, and no one wants to see that.  But for some reason, I didn't mind how this tank looked on me.  So, out the door I went, in a tank top.  I even tested out running for a bit, and was happy that the pants didn't fall down, or roll, or do anything else annoying. 
I'll be going back next week to purchase more colors.  I still have my lulu's, but these are a great addition.  Yes, they still need to stand up to the test of time, but for now, I'm pretty happy!  Way to go Costco! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mom, Swim, Bike, Run

That pretty much sums up my week.  My mom came into town for Mother's Day weekend (to visit her grandson) so I've been busy getting ready for her visit, touring her around when she was visiting, and now decompressing after her visit.  My mom is an avid swimmer and participates in many open water swims.  She swims in San Francisco Bay (60ish?) degrees with no wetsuit.  She did the Escape from Alcatraz swim (it is possible to swim from Alcatraz to shore!), and most recently just swam 2 or 3 miles along the San Francisco city front.  Needless to say, she was pretty excited about the fact that I signed up for a sprint triathlon since that meant I would be getting in some pool workouts. 
The best possible Mother's Day gift I could give her was to take her to the public pool and swim.  On Sunday we did just that.  We had to take turns swimming so someone could watch the little guy.  Proud grandma was just happy to walk him around the pool and talk to anyone that would listen about her swimming.  After swimming, we took a little road trip east to a Bavarian themed town in WA, and spent the night out there.  It was beautiful weather and very relaxing. 
Monday we spent the day walking around the Bavarian town, ducking into shops, and then drove back to Seattle.  The weather was unreal as far as how perfect it was, and my mom was blown away by the beautiful drive back through the mountains to sea level.  I always try to show her something new since she visits pretty frequently.  Baby boy was a champ the whole trip.  He didn't mind the 2 hour car ride, he slept fine in the hotel, and he only fussed a little at dinner one night until I gave him a roasted baby carrot to chew on. 
My mom's flight was in the afternoon on Tuesday, it was another incredible day (we really take notice of the sunny days in the PNW), and the hubby and I decided to take advantage of the free baby-sitting to go for a bike ride before he had to go to work.  I pulled my bike and helmet out of storage, and holy dead spiders in my helmet.  Gross.  Once I got that all cleaned out, hubby pumped up my tires and off we went.  My first bike ride in over a year!  I figured I better start building up my butt callouses- I don't know why they make bike seats so damn uncomfortable.  We rode around the neighborhood, there are tons of hills, so it was a pretty decent workout.  I was just happy to get the cobwebs out and get back on my bike.  I think most of my training rides will be on the flat bike path pulling a bike trailer. 
Yesterday it was back to work, back to reality.  Wednesday is gym day, and they had a killer met-con (metabolic conditioning workout) in store for us.  But first, we had a warm up of running 1 mile.  But the route is actually 1.2 miles.  I really pushed myself and felt completely spent BEFORE we even started our 20 minute workout.  I just kept telling myself that the triathlon would be just like this.  Our 20 minute workout included KB snatches, sprints, and jump rope.  DYING.  Wednesday is also pool day.  I got home, played with the kiddo for a bit, and then got ready to swim.  Now that I have been in the pool a few times, I decided to work on some technique.  First I swam the 1/3 mile (20 laps) uninterrupted (13 minutes), and then practiced breathing every 4 strokes instead of 2.  I really think that will improve my speed, however, it is harder (duh). 
Scale is still holding firm, 9lbs to go till I meet my first goal.  There is room for improvement in my eating.  And I have NOT been drinking enough water.  Water intake will be my focus for a bit. 

I've been super busy at work lately, so apologies for the choppy facts only post. To make up for it, here is a pic from our stay in Leavenworth, WA.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Training Updates

It has been roughly two weeks since I decided to train for a sprint triathlon, and I've been sticking to my self-created training schedule very closely.  Last Wednesday, my mission was to check out the public pool down the road from our house, get a feel for how crowded it is, how everything works, etc.  The hubs was a super sport and came along with me to check things out, and perhaps next time we will take turns swimming/watching the kid.  More on that later. 
At first glance, the pool was exactly what I was expecting.  Large Olympic size pool, smaller shallow pool filled with toddlers adjacent, lanes, flags, swim clocks, and bleachers for parents/on lookers.  I put my things into a locker and rinsed off before heading out to the pool.  When I got closer to the large pool, I noticed it had a crazy deep end and high dive.  This meant that I could jump in like a little kid, unlike the Y where the whole pool is 4ft deep or whatever.  It's the little things.  Not sure if it was a fluke day due to really nice weather outside, but the pool only had a few occupants and I was able to grab a whole lane to myself!
With a real size pool (25m), I could actually count my distance, and create benchmarks to train with.  My first goal was to swim 10 laps (250m) unbroken, and see how long that took me.  250m is about half of the distance in the sprint triathlon.  I put my goggles on, took note of the time, and off I went.  I swam and counted.  Swam and counted.  When I got to 10, I stopped at the end of the pool, could feel a little red faced, and looked at the clock.  Five minutes had passed.  I was pretty happy about that.  I was tired for sure, but I know I'll be able to build up to 600m no problem, and have a goal to swim that in 12 minutes or less.  I swam 10 or so more laps at a leisurely pace, and then was satisfied with my first real training swim.  The hubs and baby were enjoying watching the toddlers in the pool, and in a few weeks, infant swim lessons start up at the same time as lap swim, so, I can get my training in, and the hubs can be teaching baby to swim.  Everyone wins! 
Last Friday I had a 20 minute run scheduled, as I'm trying to slowly build up to a longer sustained run.  Our CrossFit workouts that week (Wednesday/Thursday) happened to be running heavy, so I was getting plenty of run time in.  I packed up the jogging stroller and drove down to the bike path by my house.  The kid and I hit the trail, and I was able to run for 20 minutes straight, pushing a stroller.  I was happy with that.  I wasn't paying attention to distance this time, but I will start.  After the 20 minute jog, I walked for a bit, and noticed the kid fell asleep, not wanting to wake a sleeping baby, I kept walking around the shopping mall next to the bike path (and maybe bought a few things).
Yesterday (Sunday) one of my friends that is doing the triathlon with me suggested we go for a swim.  She offered to watch baby while I swam, and then she could swim once I was done.  It worked out great.  I jumped in for a quick 20 minutes of swimming (got in 26+ laps), got out, hung out in the bleachers with baby while my friend swam.  As hard as it is to coordinate, I've always enjoyed working out with other people.  It is motivating, social, and holds me accountable.  I'm hoping we can get in as many of these Sunday swims as possible. 
Next on the agenda- bike ride.  I haven't been on a (non stationary) bike in probably a year or so.  Being super pregnant last summer, a bike was the last place I wanted to be.  Not sure when I can fit a ride in just yet, but hopefully soon. 


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Burpees Cure All

Friday I woke up and it felt as if I slept on my shoulder wrong.  As the day went on, I kept wiggling and trying to move it around, it just felt like something was out of place.  Then I started getting these weird spasms across my upper back on the side of the shoulder in question that would take my breath away, and make me tense up in pain.  It was annoying, and I started wondering if I would need a chiropractic appointment (I've never been!). 
I rolled around on the floor in my cubicle trying to get things worked out.  I hung from doorway jams around the office.  While the stretches felt good during, as soon as I would move back to walking/standing, the spasms would hit.  I powered through the rest of my day, and was unsure how I'd feel carrying my son around, or how I was going to get in my scheduled workout that evening.  We were also headed out of town for the weekend, and I didn't want to be sitting in a car for 4 hours feeling like this! 
After the rendezvous with the hubs to pass off the kiddo, I headed home, still in random pain.  As soon as I was home, I took two advil, and went about normal after work activities- grocery shopping, picking up the house, playing with the baby, making dinner, packing for the trip, changing diapers, laundry, listening to tv in the background...I looked at my workout schedule, and I had my benchmark workout scheduled- 5min as many burpees as possible, rest 2 minutes, then repeat- 5min as many burpees as possible.  The advil was definitely helping, but I wasn't sure if I could do a burpee.
I waited until the kiddo was asleep (6:30p) and changed into workout clothes.  I set a mat down on the living room floor, set a timer for 5 minutes, and got my burpee on.  No pain.  I was moving slow, but no pain.  The 5 minutes went quick.  The rest time went SUPER quick.  I was determined to get at least one more burpee in my second set.  Not only did I get one more, I got 8 more!  I think I should have warmed up first.  The second set, I was in a good groove, and really pushing myself.  The best part?  Afterwards?  NO PAIN.  Gone. 
So, that settles it.  Burpees cure ALL. 
Our hotel over the weekend had a pool, so I used that as an opportunity to test my swimming in preparation for the sprint tri.  The hotel pool was tiny, but large enough to get a few solid strokes in before having to turn around.  My first couple of laps were rusty, I forgot that I like to breathe every 2 strokes on the same side instead of 3 switching sides.  I also forgot how much I hate getting water in my ears.  But.  BUUUUUTTTT...I fell back into a groove, remembered all my youth swim lesson instructions and was able to swim freestyle for 10 minutes? without stopping my first time in a lap pool in 6 years.  I could have kept going longer, but I was kinda skeeved out by the hotel pool, and I was getting bored since the pool was so small.  Petty, I know.  However, my main mission was to just get in a pool and see how it went.  Tomorrow I will be heading to a public pool here for a real swim, in a 25m pool, etc. 
Holding at the same weight this week, no change.  I have nothing more to say about that. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Confessions

I used my sleeping baby as an excuse to cut short a visit from a friend who lives out of town because I wanted to finish my workout...
Let me explain...I began my sprint triathlon training this week.  I'm a visual person, so I found an excel one-month calendar template and decided to populate the days with a training schedule.  I know, NERD ALERT.  When I have it all laid out in front of me, I can easily see if I am spending enough time on each activity each week, and scheduling in rest days appropriately.  I also have to take into account my two days a week at CrossFit, and when I can get into the public pool.  Hence, a schedule is needed. 
Two days ago I had my first run scheduled.  I almost always take the babe for a walk after work, but decided that I need to bump that up sometimes to a run.  I got a jogging stroller, and new pair of running shoes all in anticipation to start my training.  When I arrived at home, was greeted with a napping baby.  Usually, this is OSOM.  But that day, I wanted to run.  I figured it would be 30 minutes or so before he woke, that's about usual nap time.  So I used the nap time to get changed into running gear, and do my quick strength circuit workout that I wrote as part of my training.  I figured he would be up after that.  Nope...over an hour later...and of course at that moment it starts pouring.  Like heavens opening up pouring.  Luckily, when I want to do anything that involves the baby, it takes a fortnight.  By the time I had him all fed, changed, properly dressed, etc., the rain had nearly stopped.  Out the door we went, and I got my first run in pushing a stroller.  I did 4X800m, with a few minutes of walking between each 800m. 
Yesterday I had a long walk and a strength circuit planned.  I headed out the door for my walk, and got a text.  Oh, yeah.  A friend of mine was in town for the evening and wanted to stop by and visit.  Totally spaced that.  It was 3pm, I told her as long as she came by before 6p, she'd get to see baby awake. At 4:45 no sign of her was fussy, and hadn't napped, I was counting on nap time to get the circuit in.  I just figured I'd do the circuit after baby went down to sleep, and at the rate he was going, it would be 6pmon the dot.  At 5:15p my friend shows up, and baby is enamoured with her.  They play and play, it was great.  Then baby started rubbing his eyes, and my friend fields a phone call in which she begins inviting people over to my house, and talks about getting take out.  I start to panic internally...MY SCHEDULE!  I still have a workout to get in, and then I go to sleep at 8pm...
My friend leaves at 6pm to go get take out and I think people are on their way to my house.  Baby passes out at 6:19p, andat 6:45 there is still no sign of anyone.  So I call my friend and ask her where she is at.  She says on her way back from the take out place.  I kindly ask if there is any place else she can meet up with the others, as there is only one hour left until my bed time, baby is asleep, and I have to do things to get ready for the next day.  She completely understands, and makes other arrangements to eat her take out at a different location.  I felt sort of bad because I haven't seen her in 6 months, but we did have a good visit when baby was awake, and most importantly, I had to stick to my training schedule!
I put my workout clothes back on, grabbed my kettlebell, and busted out a quick 4 round circuit:
10 each leg reverse decline lunges (lunge backwards off a raised surface, like a step or block)
5 KB clean and press each side
10 jump squats
Whew!  I was sweating.  It was a great little burner to end the day.  I went over to my training schedule hanging on the fridge and drew a fat red "X" through the day.  I'm just going to take this one day at a time.  There will always be hiccups that have the potential to mess up my schedule.  I need to be flexible with events of my day, but rigid in that I will always complete what I have on the schedule.

Gratuitous pic:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I saw a meme somewhere, FB? Instagram? somewhere...that said "Do one thing everyday that scares you."  No, wait, it was on the side of a Lululemon bag.  Anyway, I'm about to do something that will scare me everyday for 16 weeks.  I just registered for a sprint triathalon. 
Historically, me signing up for events like this has had the exact opposite intended effect.  The intended effect is for me to have a goal to work towards, something that is outside my current comfort level that will require extra training/dicipline. The idea is that the event will be something looming over my head that will give me that extra push in my daily workouts, and when the event comes, I will be so fulfilled by all my hard work and preparation.  Not to mention be in the best shape ever, and have a banging body.  Amiright? 
Instead... shortly after registering for an event, I tend to procrastinate, put things off, and then panic one week out from said event.  In 2009 I signed up for a 1/2 marathon with my friend.  It was February, 1/2 marathon was in June.  Plenty of time!  I went for a few runs in those 4 months, but never followed a proper training schedule.  I was also at my heaviest adult weight.  The race was not pretty.  I signed up in 2010 to redeem myself, but ended up backing out at the last minute because I didn't train enough, and I didn't want to just slog through again.  There have been other instances of similar behavior for 5K's, 10K's and other events.  The outcome has always been that instead of ramping up my training, I seem to do the exact opposite.  Kind of like when anyone tells me to do something...I am my biggest obstacle.
Lately I've been really into forgiving myself, and NOT letting history repeat itself.  Just because I used to eat a whole lot of food out of boredom/sadness/celebration/whatever doesn't mean I still have to do that.  Just because I've tried a few times in the past to be motivated by signing up for events and failed at preparing doesn't mean it will happen again.  I have it in me to be the change, to set new precedents...I just have to get up one more time then I fall down.
The event is roughly 16 weeks away, it is an all female sprint triathalon.  The swim is 1/3 mile, followed by a 12 mile bike, and then a 3 mile run.  I know I can go out today and bike 12 miles.  I know I could go out tomorrow and run 3 miles.  I'm pretty out of the loop on swimming.  There was a time I was a good swimmer, I just haven't been in the pool regularly in years.  That is priority #1.  I acquired a jogging stroller yesterday, so that will be my new best friend.  I have been taking the kiddo on tons of walks, so I'm just going to turn those into jogs/ runs/ runs and walks.  I'm going to train with my current bike (mountain bike) but will have to get or borrow a road bike for the event.  My plan is to train for the run and bike with as much resistance as possible (pushing a jogging stroller, pulling a bike trailer) and get into the pool as much as I can between now and summer.  When summer hits, I'm going to need to incorporate some lake swims, since the 1/3 mile is in the lake. 
Phew.  Yeah.  In 16 weeks, I'm going to be participating in an event that involves wearing a swimsuit.  I'm a little scared. 
Oh, weigh in today- blah.  Up one pound- not surprising, had family in town for holiday weekend, ate all the good things around town.  Back at it today.  9lbs to go.  :(  doesn't sound as good as 8lbs...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Extremes, Just Consistency

After being a little disappointed last week when I stepped on the scale, I made a quick decision to forget about it and move on.  I did not stick my head into a 1/2 gallon of ice cream and think "oh, well, scale was up a pound, what will this hurt?"  I've tried that in the past- doesn't work.  Instead, I continued to cook meals at home, bring in my breakfasts and lunches to work, and move as much as possible. 
I came into work one morning, and was the first person at the office.  There was an entire tray of desserts in the work kitchen, and I walked by it.  Numerous times!  I mean, NO ONE was around!  I could have eaten something!  Except, I would know.  Instead, I microwaved my chicken thighs and roasted broccoli. 
A few days later we had a catered lunch at work.  The desert was some fruit/cream cheese/pie thing.  I had a piece.  It was awesome.  I didn't feel bad. 
I spent the weekend running around like crazy, I had a super jam packed social weekend that is pretty rare for me.  After going to a friends house for brunch on Saturday morning, I hosted a dinner that night where I had 6 people over.  I made an awesome dinner of 2 whole roasted chickens, broccoli with garlic/olive oil, and a quinoa salad with various veggies and raisins mixed in.  I had a glass of delicious wine.
So, having a week VERY similar to the previous week in which I saw a 1lb gain, I stepped on the scale this am, ready for whatever.  I was greeted with a 3lb LOSS.  I was not overjoyed, I did not immediately run to my closet and pull out my tiniest jeans thinking they would fit.  I just exhaled and remembered that the overall trend is what matters.  No extremes, just consistency. No beating myself up over gains, and no elation for losses. 
That puts me at a net total of 2lbs lost towards my 1st 10lb goal.  Yay!  8lbs to go.  Sounds much better than 10lbs... 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Oh, Yeah. I Remember.

Today being Tuesday and all, I stepped on the scale this am.  Any guesses? 
+1 lb from last week. I have 11lbs to lose.
I forgot how much I hate this whole scale thing.  So, up a pound.  Of course the crazy thoughts crept in: "was it the donut last Thursday?"  "Was it the 3 alcoholic beverages I drank over the course of the week?"  "Was it because I didn't exercise on Saturday?"  Who dafaq knows. 
But, I do know one thing.  I weigh less today than I did a month ago.  I'm not going to let one day, one moment on the scale change what I'm doing overall.  I know I could replicate last week's food and exercise to the "T" this week, and see a 3lb loss next Tuesday.  That is why this scale thing is so maddening. 
Is is a useful tool?  Absolutely.  Is it useful to use it to run my life?  Absolutely not.  I know what I need to do.  I'm going to continue to do what I need to do, and I'm going to trust that things will move in the correct direction.  I'm interested in the long haul, not the pot holes or speed bumps along the way. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Round-up

This week got away from me!  I have had a post on my fingertips since Monday, and somehow I'm only finding the time to type it out now.  Of course as the week progressed, more stuff happened worthy of noting, so lets do a little Friday roundup:
Monday- Woke up feeling amazing after a solid 3 weeks of eating well, drinking lots of water, taking my fish oil, probiotics, and exercising.  I also realized that I'm in a "losing phase" and it has been a long time since I've been actively watching the scale for losses, rather than just trying to do new cool things (like lifting heavier weights, or running faster, etc.).  So, that being said, I want to lose 20 lbs.  I'm going to break this up into losing 10 lbs two times.  I don't really care how long it takes, just as long as I continue on a downward trend.  A stall in weight loss for a week or two is to be expected.
Tuesday- Did my official weigh-in for my first 10lb chunk.  I will report next tuesday how I did for the week. 
Wednesday- Crossfit day!  We ran sprints.  Blah. 
Thursday- Had a donut, didn't feel bad about it.  Crossfit day!  We did a workout in which I surprised myself at how quick I moved.  I really pushed myself, and felt for the first time in a long time that I wasn't "recovering" from anything.  I felt how I used to feel all the time when I was going to Crossfit 4 days a week consistently, and each workout was a challenge, but I was able to push through and get some benefit, not just survive.  I suppose this feeling is akin to a "runners high."  When you start out running, it sucks.  Everything feels heavy, and you can't catch your breath, but for whatever reason, you slog through.  Then, one day, everything just clicks.  You feel lighter, your breathing falls into a rythym, and running is actually enjoyable!  Same deal here...
Friday- Today, YAY!  Another great week in the books.  I swear, if the weeks keep going by this fast, I really have zero time to screw things up.  I've been on auto-pilot.  Making my protein/veggie breakfasts/lunches/ and dinners, moving whenever I can, and not constantly obsessing over what foods I can and can't have.  I feel good, my pants are looser.  This body of mine will be a reflection of what I do the majority of the time, not the minority. 
There you have it.  A summary of my week.  Typically Friday nights are my one night to be more relaxed food wise, but I'm not really feeling up to it tonightsince I had a donut on Thursday, and also went out to a fairly fancy dinner and had a glass of wine.  So turkey taco meat and veggies it will be.  My weekend will consist of lots of food prep for the week, lots of activity, and general bad-assery. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Trusting What I Know

Today is the first day in quite some time in which I feel like I'm digging myself out of this hole.  I am making progress, and just today I see that I'm not going to be this size forever.  My jeans are looser.  I looked at myself in the large bathroom mirror at work after I changed into my workout clothes and I didn't hate what I saw.  I still have a ways to go, but I can actually see changes. 
In some ways being uncomfortable with my weight is a comfort.  It is what I know.  I know what clothes to wear to best "mask" it.  I know to avoid looking in mirrors and being caught on camera.  I avoid clothes shopping.  I've learned to just get on with my life at a larger size because at times if just feels like I will be that way forever, so I might as well live my life.  Well, it isn't until I start losing weight that I see how permenent it felt at the size I was at; how used to it I was that my clothes were ill fitting, and how far my stomach would stick out.  Once those things go away, I also realize how much I don't want to be that size anymore/or again.  I have no idea if that makes sense.  I just know that today was a break-through day, mentally.
I know its cliche to say, but I didn't get this way overnight, so I'm certainly not going to un-get this way overnight.  It is nice to see that hard work pays off.  None of this is new, just a great reminder to myself to stick with it, trust myself, trust what I know.   

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mom Ninja

I'd be lying if I said there were no days when I think to myself "what did I get myself into?"  Life with an infant is no joke.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  Everytime we think we are in a routine, or pattern, it changes.  We went from a solid 6-8 weeks of baby sleeping from 8p-4am, waking for a feed, then falling back asleep till 8am.  It was a great schedule, I felt like I was really getting the hang of things.  Then one night, it all changed.  Then another night it changed again.  Some nights baby wakes up at 10:30pm,12:30am2:30am, and 4am.  Not always to eat, sometimes we can just get away with a simple pacifier replacement...other times- oh, boy...those other times...screaming, wiggling, fighting, madness.  Those are the times I'll do anything to get him to stop crying, including handing him off to a hungry grizzy bear.  Luckily no bear has walked by during one of those episodes yet, and a bottle sufficed. 
Between these times of sheer chaos and hair pulling madness are times of genius, or incredible feats of baby whispering.  Mom ninja moves, if you will.  Babies are so far ahead of us as far as knowing what they want and what works for them, it takes us a few days or weeks even to figure out what they are trying to say (cry?).  When those things finally click and you can anticipate baby needs- that is some mom ninja sh*t.   
I can't tell you how many times I've been woken up in the middle of the night to a fussing baby and did not pee before going in and trying to console him.  Let me tell you something- a fussy baby at 2am is one thing.  A fussy baby at 2amwhen your eyes are turning yellow is completely different.  Lesson- let baby fuss the extra 30 seconds in the crib while you relieve yourself.  It is better for everyone involved. 
A fussing baby in the middle of the night can usually mean a few things.  There is a checklist I run through depending on time of night and volume/style of crying.  If it is before 4am, I try to avoid a feed.  First thing I try is pacifier.  If that doesn't work, I turn on white noise.  Still fussing?  I check diaper or look for wet pj's.  Once that is handled, I will rock baby to sleep.  If crying increases/worsens, I make a bottle.  So, these fussing episodes can be handled in anywhere from 1 minute to 30 minutes, depending on how far down the checklist I have to go. 
Last night was a good night.  I gave baby a bottle at 6pm.  He was asleep by 6:35pm.  Thinking that this would only be an hour nap at the most, I got all my stuff ready for the next day- gym bag, packed my lunch, etc.  At 7:30 he was still sound asleep.  I decided to read in bed until the inevitble wake up as soon as I got comfortable.  I must've fallen asleep immediately.  I was woken up at 11:32 by fussing.  A simple pacifier worked.  I was woken again at 1:26am, and the hubs went in and gave him a pacifier.  The next time I heard fussing was 3:38am, so I knew it was time for diaper change and bottle. 
I got up, went to the bathroom (win!) and there were a few fusses, but nothing major yet.  I went to the kitchen made a bottle, and the fussing started to increase.  I picked up baby, and put him on the changing table.  Right before he was about to scream out, I gave him the bottle and he was in heaven.  I unzipped his jammies, took only one leg out, took his swollen diaper off (no poop!), and put a new diaper on with speed and expertise that can only be described as Olympic considering the 3:43amtime.  I put the leg back in, zipped up, and picked up baby that was eyes closed, still sucking down bottle.  I sat on the edge of the bed while he drank his bottle, eyes still closed.  When he finished I stood up and put his head over my shoulder to burp, but he was so heavy I knew he was asleep.  As I set him down in his crib on his stomach, he burped.  I put his pacifier back in, turned on the white noise, and tip-toed backwards out of the room.  I looked at the clock when I got back into bed- 3:51am.  Like a mother-effing MOM NINJA- no tears.  No waking up the hubby/neighborhood.  I was pretty proud of myself. 
A couple of things I learned here- he might be wanting an earlier bed time.  That might explain why putting him down at 8pm or even 9pm was a FIGHT, and his quality of sleep would suffer.  Perhaps we were missing the window all these other nights and he was way over tired/stimulated.  Makes sense since he doesn't nap for very long during the days.  Second, he IS capable of going from 9+ hours without a feed.  We always just feed him when we don't know what else to do.  That has the secondary effect of more wet diapers and potential wake ups.  Lastly, it was bath night last night, and I've noticed that he sleeps better after bath nights (2-3x week) might need to increase to every night if they calm him down? 
So yeah.  I don't know.  Maybe it was just a freak good night.  Like I said, every night is different.  One thing is for sure, it is never boring, and somehow, someway, seeing his smile first thing in the morning erases all middle of the night grizzly bear thoughts.  :)
Some other mom ninja moves of note:
-Flipping down the sun shade in the stroller seconds before the sun will hit babies eyes.
-Recognizing tired signals and putting him down for a nap before fussing starts.
-Making a bottle while holding a crying squirming baby.
-Catching pacifiers mid-air that have just been spit out and replacing before any sound can be made
-Pushing a stroller and walking the dog on a leash; and
-Breastfeeding while standing on your head, duh.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The 95%

Yesterday I listed common traps I fall into with eating- or the things that tend to lead me astray.  I mentioned that I want my eating to be on point 95% of the time.  But what does that mean?  It is important to define my "eating right" and what I consider "fueling my body properly" to be, otherwise, there is no context.  Everyone is going to have a different definition of what eating right is for them.  I've put in enough time, and run enough experiments on my body that I know what works for me and what doesn't. 
First and foremost, eating right for me means making my food.  Making my food means shopping to have everything I need on hand.  Typically I will go to Costco once every 2 weeks and spend $60-$100 depending on what I need, and I will supplement the rest of my groceries at the supermarket shopping 1-2 times/week, spending $100-$125/week.  Costco has a tremendous amount of organic produce, organic meats, and things like organic coconut oil, almond butter, butter from grass fed cows; all staples in my diet.  My Costco cart typically includes:
Organic apples or pears (12)
Bell peppers (6)
Asparagus/haricots vert (2lbs)
5lbs of cut and washed broccoli
2lbs of cut and washed cauliflower
Organic skinless boneless chicken thighs
4 pack of lean ground turkey
Aidells chicken sausages
Kerrygold butter
Almond butter (every 2 months or so)
Coconut oil (once a year?  Huge tub)
canned organic diced tomatoes (8 cans)
Quinoa (5lbs) (every 2 months or so)
I fill in the blanks weekly at the grocery store:
spices, if needed (from the bulk section)
green onions
chicken broth
lean beef
any chunks of meat that are on sale
raisins/dried fruit
bananas and/or seasonal fruits
half and half
any household items (paper towels, soap, etc.)
I spend about an hour on the weekend doing meal preparation for the coming days.  I try to keep things fairly simple, the fewer the steps, the better.  A typcial Sunday cooking session looks something like this:
Set oven to 425 degrees, grab a sheet pan, and dump out the 2lb bag of cauliflower onto the pan.  I heat up a few tbps. of coconut oil, drizzle it over cauliflower, then sprinkly with salt and pepper.  I give everything a good toss with my hands, and put the pan in the oven for 30(?) minutes- until the cauliflower is fragrant and starting to carmelize.  Prep time- 3 mintues.  Cook time 30 minutes.  While the cauliflower is roasting, I'll make up a batch of turkey taco meat.  Using 2 of the ground turkey packages from Costco, I'll brown the meat, then add cumin, chili power, salt, pepper, two cans of diced tomatoes, and some fresh chopped garlic.  I'll let that simmer for awhile, and usually by the time the cauliflower is done, I'll have my turkey taco meat done as well.  Prep time - 5 minutes (chop garlic, assemble add ins).  Cook time- 20-30 minutes.
Once my turkey taco meat is simmering, I'll chop up 3 bell peppers into strips, and an onion or two.  When the cauliflower comes out, I'll throw the onions and peppers (with some salt and pepper) onto the sheet pan and roast until super soft and caramelized.  Prep time- 5-10 minutes (depending on your cutting speed) Cook time 30-45 minutes.
Bam.  In about an hour, I have ready to grab protein and veggies on hand for myself and husband to eat.  If I'm feeling up to it, I'll roast or braise some other protein source as well, but I really try to only cook off what we will eat in 2-3 days.  Tuesday or Wednesday when we start to get low on the fridge stash, I'll roast off another sheet pan of vegetables (half of the broccoli bag, some asparagus, or more peppers/onions) and some chicken thighs, or make more taco meat. 
I've covered shopping and meal prep, so what do my actual days look like in terms of meal consumption?  Pretty unconventional- unless you are simply looking at the food as fuel. 
Typical breakfast- coffee with half and half, and 6oz of turkey taco meat and some onions/pepper mix or 2 chicken thighs and some roasted cauliflower, or 2 chicken sausages and some roasted veggie, or 2 chicken thighs, a nuked sweet potato and some roasted veggies...see a trend? 
Snack- apple or pear with almond butter
Typical lunch- same or similar to breakfast.  If I don't have a nuked yam at breakfast, I'll almost always have one at lunch, especially after a noon crossfit workout.  Gotta replensish those stores, you know?  Alternatively, I will have dinner left-overs if we made a roast or some other special meal- but it still has the same components- protein and vegetable.
Dinner- guess what...more of the same!  Well, the nights that the husband works that is.  When I come home from work and my husband won't be home till after I'm in bed, I don't want to spend any time cooking.  That's why it is SO IMPERATIVE that I spend time on days when I can preparing foods to just grab and heat up.  When in this cycle of shopping/prepping/cooking it is so easy to keep on track.  Yes, I eat a lot of the same things over and over.  But- I have played around with them enough that I know they are flavors I can eat forever.  There is a reason why I eat chicken thighs and not chicken breast.  With all the different fruits and vegetables, there really are a lot of combinations to be had.
I try to drink close to a gallon of water a day as well.
On days when my husband is home all day, he will sometimes braise off a large pork shoulder, or some hunk of beef.  Summer is around the corner, so that means grilling- burgers, chicken, sausages, occasional steaks, grilled veggies and grilled yam slices.  Or one night a week when we are together in the evening we might head out for some Pho' or Thai food.  I don't get bored.  I don't feel deprived.  When I'm spending the time to shop and prep meals so that I have good foods to eat at my finger tips all the time, I feel amazing.  I feel like I'm in a groove and doing it all.  Yes, I am doing more, but I've figured out how to do it so efficiently I'm spending less time on cooking/eating, and feeling better.  This is where I like to be, this is where I will continue to try to be, 95% of the time. 
Saturday mornings I like to give myself a little leeway for something special- my favorite paleo pancakes (egg, banana, almond butter, 1 tbsp. coconut flour, dash of salt) with some bacon, or a scramble of eggs, bacon, yams, green onion thrown onto some corn tortillas. 
This is my 95%.  Making my food.  Having a good variety of meats (mostly lean) and vegetables rotating through the week.  Using different methods of preparation- roasting, brasing, grilling.  Eating out at restaurants no more than once a week.  Eating corn or rice once or twice a week.  Eating bacon occasionally.  Not fearing fat.  Paying attention to portion sizes.  Including vegetables in every meal.  Eating organic/grass fed when possible.  Drinking water.  Feeling awesome.