On other news, my husband and I also just completed a six week paleo challenge at our local CrossFit affiliate, CrossFit CDR. This means that we were eating proteins (all kinds, preferrably organic and non processed), vegetables, and healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, some nuts. In week five and six we were allowed one serving of fruit and one adult beverage or a piece of chocolate per week. As of this writing I still haven’t had any chocolate and I was previously eating it almost every single day. We were NOT eating any grains, fruits or sugars of any kinds.
So, what are the results??????
The results are amazing. My husband went from 11 – 8% body fat and managed to gain a pound of muscle. I lost 3% body fat and have more than 10 new Personal Records in the last month. Basically, I got a new PR in almost all of my regularly used lifts such as the Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Deadlift, & Front Squat. Lower body fat percentages really do equal results where you want them…and, yes, my butt and stomach have shrank by like an inch!
Here are a few photos of what we were eating, in case you’re wondering!
I want to thank Tamera Blankenship for running the food challenges and being such a positive role model to all of us wimps!
Today, I have some news to share with you. Some of my very best and oldest friends have asked us (my husband and I) to participate in the upcoming San Diego Triathlon Challenge! This is a fundraiser for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and I am very excited to participate.
A little history, my friend Michelle and I, have been friends since middle school when she moved in across the street from me. In our twenty years of being friends, we have BOTH participated in numerous cycling, triathlon, swimming (her) and running events! We are now in our 40’s and have decided to get together with another one of our endurance athlete friends, Linda, to raise money for the Challenged Athlete Foundation and to just generally have an opportunity to train for a cause!
Pictured above is all of us at my wedding in 2000! Funny thing is that now, the boys husbands, are joining in on the fun!
We have two teams participating in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge!
Hello again Fitness for Mommies readers! This is my third guest blogging installment about training for my first Triathlon in September. I’m going to ask for some help in this one – so please read to the end!
Things are going OK. With the blessing of my orthopedist I am training through my Achilles issue. I’m continuing with physical therapy twice a week and doing a lot of stretching work at home. My doctor actually said that being sedentary is worse than continuing to exercise because it’s tightness that causes the pain and soreness. The thing that really makes it feel good is massage (especially calf massage). My husband isn’t big on foot massages, so in addition to PT, I go to the local nail salon every once and awhile and ask for this one Korean guy with huge biceps and pay for ‘extra massage”. The fact that he looks at my toes like he wants to eat them only freaks me out a little bit. He knows his way around the trotters.
Cycling is going great. I’m feeling more and more comfortable on the bike outside. I’m going to Oregon in a few days for a long visit and I’m having my bike shipped as I type. I can’t wait to ride where there are bike lanes! Not to mention motorists who for most part share the road and respect cyclists. What a concept. I have lots of friends who ride, and my dad (who ironically tried to get me on a bike for YEARS to no avail) as potential ride buddies. As far as the cycling part of the tri goes, I feel like I could do it in my sleep.
Running is fine. Not great, not horrible. I’m being very conservative with the running because it seems to be the biggest aggravator of the Achilles soreness. I have been doing a BRICK a week where I cycle for 45 minutes to an hour and then run and it actually feels pretty good. Running doesn’t freak me out because I’ve run team relays (slow as molasses) before and I know that I can dig in and do it. Not to mention the fact there’s no water involved.
Swimming. Oy vey. I just don’t know what to say here. I’m still taking lessons and do feel like I’m learning a lot. Coach Ivan has called me “pathetic” and “lazy” and asks me things like “why do you want to be like an old person?” This all stems from my apparent inability to maintain a streamline in the water. I’m working on it, but the bottom line is I still can’t put more than two lengths of freestyle together without stopping. I have to do 18. I’m going to swim at least every other day on my trip, but by the end of August, I need to know what my plan is to get through the swim, whatever that may look like. I told my husband this and he quoted Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.” Thanks honey.
So here are my questions for you sage FFM readers:
1. Have you done multiple strokes in a triathlon and what seemed to work best for you?
2. Was there anything that caused you to have a swimming breakthrough?
3. What’s your number one tip for swimming freestyle?
4. Do you have any tips for improving breathing in freestyle? (I never feel like I have enough air and I panic.)
5. Any tips on just plain “getting through” the swim?
I appreciate any and all feedback! I am still determined to improve my freestyle!
105 degrees was the temperature today. Crack an egg on the black top and I swear it’d fry! I remember the old days of teaching phys ed in the summer and I’d have to check the temperature every hour until it hit 100 before I could bring my class in for indoor PE!
In Paul’s case, training in this kind of heat doesn’t actually benefit his fitness, AT ALL. In fact, he can see a noticeable difference in his power output based on the temperature alone like as much as 10%! Training in the heat really (in my humble opinion) offers more risks than benefits. You run the risk of heat exhaustion, you can’t train as hard or as long in the heat, you must increase your water intake before, during and after the workout, and it’s just not fun!
And it’s a good rule of thumb is to decide what benefit could come of training in the heat unless you are going to be racing in the heat.
If you are going to train in the heat:
Consider that you’d need twice as much water as you’d usually drink on a ride or run
It will take longer to recover
Plan on lower intensity runs or rides
Plan on shorter rides or runs
You run the risk of heat exhaustion
Plan on utilizing electrolyte replacement drinks during the workout
Alternatives to Working out in the Heat
Change your focus: work on the things you neglect like your CORE
Be willing to do different forms of exercise to still get your cardio – such as swimming
Workout at the crack of dawn
Do less, but, workout harder on alternating days
Swing a kettlebell!
Go to Yoga
Set goals for the winter of 2010 and make plans to be fit and ready
How do you train in inclement weather? What challenges are you facing to get in your daily workout?
The lovely part about summer is the work-out inducing weather for such activities as, say, cycling. And, yet, a heart-rate-raising ride is not easy–not possible–with two 4-year-olds and a 3-year-old. (We don’t have a Bike Burley–would a Burley contain my all-girl band? If it did, I suppose that would be a heart-rate-raising ride.)
So what’s a mom to do?
This mom pulled her bike trainer out of the basement, where she sometimes rides during winter months to the tune of Troy Jacobson’s Spinervals. But just as entertaining, is watching her children’s escapades on the driveway. With the added benefit of sunshine.
When I ride my bike on the driveway, my girls must ride their bikes, too, so we all get to exercise and I get to watch their special bike tricks: JC flying down the slope of the driveway full blast, the obstacle courses they set up with mini cones, using their brakes to stop *super* fast, the races amongst themselves. Plus, I was like the pied biking piper. Kids from around the neighborhood joined us on our driveway with their bikes, too. Working out from home is sooooo much better when you don’t have to plop your kids down in front of a video. I’ve done it. But, it’s guilty sweat.
The only hitch? Everyone wanted to ride my slick bike. So 10 minutes into my ride, I started getting asked every three minutes: Can I have a turn? When are you going to be done? Can I get on now? This was rather annoying but not deterring. I just shooed them away and kept pedaling. They all got their turn, but after mommy had hers.
My preference of course, is to workout without having to also be responsible for children. However, when I can accomplish a good multitasking sweat, I feel like Super Mom, which only lasts until one of my children goes head over handle bars and ends up looking like this:
“I’m mom to 5-year-old twin girls, a daughter who is three and a son, who was born in February. I’m also a freelance writer (more about that at www.karathom.com) and as you might guess, I enjoy being active, especially (but not limited to) running, biking, swimming, and yoga.”
Hey again! This is my second installment of guest blogging about training for my first triathlon in September. Since my last post, I have made progress, but have an injury that is a definite impediment. I think I mentioned last time that I was icing my ankle. At that point I just thought I was sore from running for the first time in quite awhile over spring break. I’m not certain if it was the running or the flip-flop wearing (or a combo) but I’ve had Achilles Tendonitis ever since. We’re at 7 weeks and counting of pain, tightness and soreness.
I’ve done everything I know to do: Massage, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory meds (both conventional & homeopathic), stretching and rest. This sucker just doesn’t want to heal. I have 12 1/2 weeks until the event and I don’t know if I should continue to rest it, or power through? Any experience with this injury? The only thing I have left in my arsenal is acupuncture, which is my next phone call.
If you read my first post, you know that swimming is my weakest link. I did start swim lessons a little over a month ago (an improvement over making phone calls about taking swimming lessons). I’m taking them at a Y-type facility. It’s an adult intermediate class taught by this very funny Russian guy. I started in the middle of the spring session so the other two students already had a few classes under their belt. When I got to my first class I was sitting on the bench apprehensively waiting for the instructor “Ivan” to come talk to me. He walked by and just looked at me. I said, “um, I just joined your class today.” Blank stare. Me: “Do you want to know anything about me, my experience, or why I’m in the class?” Him: “Get in. We ville see.” Me: “We will see?” Him: “We ville see if you drown. I’ve only had 2 drowns.” That pretty much sums up Ivan.
The good part is, I’ve really learned a lot from Ivan. It’s amazing to me that I’ve been swimming recreationally my whole life and really have zero idea how to swim for exercise/training. The sad thing is I now know how Nadia must have felt when she grew breasts and Béladidn’t pay attention to her anymore. Ivan has his swim team members there at the same time as our class and I totally feel washed up in comparison. It’s all I can do not to shout, “look at me Ivan! Look how hard I’m trying!” Pathetic. Yet when he gives me the thumbs up and says, “you are doing vedy good, vedy vedy good” it makes me dig a little deeper. No wonder those Eastern Europeans were/are so darn good at gymnastics!
Highlights since my last post:
I’ve ridden my bike outside for a couple of great rides. The first was 15 miles (longer than the distance in my tri) and the second was 30 miles with some killer hills. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment after the 30 miler. The weather and my Achilles have kept me off the bike, but I’m going out again Saturday.
My girlfriend that is doing the tri with me and I went to a training party in NYC hosted by Trek. Sally Edwards was the special guest of the party. If you don’t know who she is, you should. She is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. Sally has been an elite endurance athlete for over 30 years and was the face of the Danskin triathlon series for years. She’s now the spokesperson for the Trek Women Triathlon Series (I’m not sure why she and Danskin parted ways, she didn’t talk about it). Regardless, the training party was such a perfect way to really kick off this journey. They gave us a ton of information and a free training plan. Sally even helped me pick out a pair of swim goggles. This woman is 62 years old and could kick my ass in any of the three events. THAT in and of itself is enough to inspire me.
The biggest thing we took away from the training party is that you have to have a plan. So this week, instead of feeling sorry for myself on a day I wanted to be spinning or swimming but was resting my stupid foot, my girlfriend (a.k.a. my training partner) and I met at Starbucks and mapped out our summer of training. We won’t always be able to do it together, but it is really motivating to have someone else there alongside you in spirit. We make good partners too because our strengths are each other’s weaknesses.
Our first day of training was today and we met to swim. She is a MUCH stronger swimmer than I am. My biggest issue with swimming is that I get completely winded and never feel like I’m getting enough air. With a very simple suggestion, my friend helped me immensely. WHO KNEW YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO HOLD YOUR BREATH? I certainly didn’t. So I would try and exhale and inhale in the same two seconds. When she suggested blowing all the air out completely and slowly with my head still in the water, it was like swimming enlightenment had occurred. Mind you, I have other “issues” so I’m still no Michael Phelps but at least I’m not flailing and gasping anymore. The bad news is that my tendon that I thought was improving really hurt in the pool today. Aargh!
The way I see it, I’m laying the foundation of my triathlon house right now. Honing skills, crafting a plan, trying to get healthy. The plan is helping me break down all those “I can’t do this” mental barriers because I don’t have to go from zero to sixty; I’m building speed gradually here. I’m committed to this. I want this. I will make this happen.