Monday, December 10, 2012

Starting to Getting Real

So, I usually just post positive, encouraging messages…that’s my mission.  But, I have been told that posting the good, bad, and ugly can be encouraging…in that we can commiserate.  So, here it is!

After a spectacular week of training – a great 12 mile “run more than walk” last Sunday, my first “run the whole three miles” mid-week, and a strong run on Friday night…I was flying high.  I even consulted with Coach Lea, as I knew that this week was bringing me into new territory – with my planned 14 miles on Sunday, it would be the longest mileage I’ve ever done.

Then, Sunday came back around. 

I’m half-way through the “official” 16-week marathon training plan, and I have hit the proverbial wall.  I remember this feeling from my half-marathon training last year, so I’m not surprised – but it still is defeating. 

Yesterday, I woke up feeling less than motivated to go out.  The weather was icky (not as bad as it could have been, but not the sun from the previous week).  I was achy.  Holiday cookie baking on Saturday wasn’t good to me.  I didn’t eat BADLY, but I didn’t FUEL for my Sunday run, either.  I set out, nonetheless, committed to power through my planned 14 miles, but things didn’t look up.

First, RunKeeper had me at .6 miles – just 30 seconds out of our house!  WOW!  Actually, that’s been my frustration with RunKeeper…sometimes the GPS function is just “wonky.”  However, I knew the route I planned to use is ~3.5 miles, and running it 4 times would allow me to refuel & use my own CLEAN bathroom (after a disgusting encounter with a porta-potty last week).  So, RunKeeper aside, I powered on.  My first two laps were a struggle, not great, time-wise, but I felt encouraged knowing I was battling inner demons – I was out there.

I headed out for the third lap, and at mile 9 I was “all in.”  I nearly called dear husband to come and pick me up, but thought, I can WALK 1.5 miles home.  I was close to tears…I hurt, I was discouraged, and the cold was biting.  (Mind you, it wasn’t COLD-cold…just wet, Northwest cold.)  As I neared home, I realized that there was no way I was going to complete the third lap in time to make it to my massage appointment on time, not even close.  So, I decided to call it a day…at 10.5 miles.

Now, I realize…10.5 miles isn’t too shabby.  In fact, two years ago 1/10th of that mileage was a “workout” for me.  And, just a few months ago, 3 miles was my typical “training run.”  I’m doing a GREAT job.  But, it wasn’t what I had planned.

I headed to my massage – thank you Kristen Clearwater for being there for me on Sunday afternoons! – and really got the nastiness worked out.  This is not the kind of massage you think of getting for R&R – laying on the beach, or at the spa of a cruise ship.  This is more like another workout…keeping the body functioning.  However, it was absolutely what I needed yesterday.  In fact, afterward I sucked it up and walked home at a very leisurely pace – logging a little more than two miles.

All told, I put in 12.75 miles yesterday.  NOT what was planned, NOT my longest run yet…but definitely 12.75 miles more than if I had given in to the morning feeling and bagged the day altogether.  This was technically a “recovery” week, so I recovered.

Tomorrow starts a new training week.  (Mondays are rest days, after long Sunday runs.)  I’m back on my game.  This week I WILL conquer my miles (Lord willing & the creek don’t rise!).  Because, in spite of it all, I’m still Living My Fit Dreams.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Little Runner That Could

Well, low and behold, things in the training arena have been going along as planned!  We’ve been blessed with a relatively mild fall, and with only one exception, my weekly “long” runs have been without torrential downpour.  There was one ugly Sunday weather-wise, but I persevered.  If you’re training in the winter in the Northwest, you are going to encounter some moisture.  Suck it up, Cupcake!

This past weekend (Thanksgiving) was my first “two-event” weekend, and also my last planned events for 2012.  On Thursday, I participated in the Clark County Turkey Trot 10K.  I’d done the same race last year – the 5K – and found that it is a very well-attended family-oriented event.  Having been an extremely wet week, I was prepared for a soggy trail, and was not disappointed.  But, I kept plugging along – with my predicted run/walk pattern – and found that I was not the last one to cross the finish line.  However, when I checked the chip-timing results, I found that I was, indeed, last.  The gentleman that finished behind me must have started behind me, as his time was shorter.  Oh well…someone has to be last, and I found out long ago that it doesn’t hurt that bad!  J  But, even better than that, I discovered that I had PR’d!!!  My time of 14:36/mile is still very slow, but it’s getting faster each week.

On Sunday, I participated in the Hot Buttered Run 12K at the Historic Fort Vancouver National Reserve & Pearson Air Museum.  This event, too, was very family oriented – with three kids races scheduled after the 5K and 12K finished.  I was able to hook up with some of the “Running Chicks in PDX” for pre-race photos, and really enjoyed connecting.  I still prefer to do the races by myself (which is a good thing, considering my pace!), but I do like to connect.  In fact, some of them were still hanging around when I finished the race.

This was my first 12K distance race, so I knew it would be a PR!  But, my goal was to meet or beat my 10K pace – this was a “run test” event for me, and I planned to leave it all out there.  The course was beautiful, and I was keeping pace very well – until I saw the pack stopped ahead of me.  A train was crossing, and most of the pack ended up being stopped for nearly eight minutes!  Fortunately, I was stopped for just a little over two – and it allowed me to catch up with a couple of the Chicks.  I actually enjoyed the breather – and was able to start off running right after we were allowed to cross. 

One frustration I have is my RunKeeper app on my iPhone.  It’s great for time/pace, etc. – but I find that the GPS is often “off” – especially when going through treed or industrial areas.  Both were the case with this race, so I found myself hitting miles well before I hit the marker.  It’s hard to know actual pace without actual miles.  But, I just kept running.  I came in with a chip-time of 1:50.  With my two-plus minute train stop, I know my time was right at my 10K pace…and I was pleased.  OH!  And, I was not last place!  According to the chip-time results, there were TEN people who came in after me! (I knew there were five, for sure.)

So, now the events are over until the Resolution Run in January.  In the meantime, my long runs get longer.  In fact, next Sunday is a 12-miler, which is my longest run outside of my half-marathon in May.  Over the remainder of the year I get up to 18 miles, and top out at 20 miles in January – before the marathon in February – which is only two months away!  I am a little concerned about hitting the six-hour cutoff time for the marathon, but I will do what I can do.  I keep aiming for the mark – and will hit it the best I can…because I’m LIVING MY FIT DREAMS!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Moving forward

Looking back over my last post I realized that, for the first time, I have actually been doing what I had planned! J 

Post-triathlon, I took a bit of real rest & recovery time.  I felt lazy, but also know that this is part of the process…and the process works!

September 9th, I participated again in the Oregon Warrior Dash.  The day dawned very cool and I was a bit concerned about the water temperature, but after running a very hilly mile to get there, the water was just FUN, followed by very doable obstacles.  Last year, due to poor nutritional planning, I’d tanked about half way through the race and fallen on an obstacle, causing me to become discouraged and skip the next one.  This year, my goal was to FINISH ALL of the obstacles – and I did. 

The race was actually quite fun, as I did it with a few friends and family members (all Warrior Dash virgins), and it was fun to toss around our water-proof disposable camera. We got some great shots, and generally had a great time.  I have no idea how my finish time compared with last year’s – because last year I didn’t truly “finish,” and this year I was having FUN!

I took another recovery week last week, and this week started my “official” training plan for the marathon.  I’m not sure where I was “planning-wise” during my past updates, but here is the plan now…and it’s paid-for, so it’s pretty “sure.”  I’m going to do the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, California on 2/3/13.  (3 weeks ahead of my 40th birthday!)  I’ve hit both of my scheduled runs this week –and am feeling very strong.  So far, I only have two scheduled events before then – Turkey Trot 10K on Thanksgiving Day and the Hot Buttered Run 12K on Thanksgiving Sunday.  I know I’ll add in a few more as “tests” during my training, but I’m not sure where/when just yet.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m feeling very uninspired in the blogging arena – not in the training area – so my updates will be few, unless I just have a red-letter day to brag about J

Thank you for following as I continue Living My Fit Dreams!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tri-ing Times!

Well, I did it again…I found another addiction.  After my duathlon in June, I just couldn’t help myself and signed up for my first TRI in July.  It was too much temptation to bear, I tell ya!

I spent a few weeks training in the pool and a couple more in a local pond, and decided to literally take the plunge.  I signed up for a try-it length sprint tri (1/4 mile swim, as opposed to 1/2) at the same venue where I did my inaugural duathlon – that way I knew I’d be comfortable with the bike & run courses, and really only had one new thing to tackle.

Adjusting to pond swimming was not nearly as scary as I’d anticipated.  I’ve never been afraid of not being able – it’s just the creepie-crawlies IN the pond that got to me.  But, my first few swims were all on warm, sunny days and it made the transition bearable.  A few “oogies” from the plants attacking my ankles and I was over it J

I took the advice of several well-knowing friends, and rented a wetsuit for my event, though there were LOTS of folks without them.  I’m so glad I did, though, as it gave me a sense of security & support.  And, honestly, when I got home with it, I decided I looked a bit like Mrs. Incredible!  (A bit, I said!)

A dear online friend (Heather) decided she wanted to go along and see what it was all about, so I had my own cheer squad/personal photographer for the event – which was SO FUN!  She, too, is a Starbucks junkie, so we started off our day there.  A short drive to the venue, and it was all of the excitement of the previous event. 

After body marking, I found my rack with a bunch of others who were first-timer-try-its.  This happened to be an all-women’s event, though there were plenty of men there as support – including the hunky island boys in skirts playing the drums!  (It was a Hawaiian-themed event.)  I suited up (effortlessly!) and found Heather to head to the water.

Surprisingly, it was WARM!  A friend later told me it just “feels” warm, because the morning air temperature is cold.  Whatever – it was warm!  I got in the water with the other gals to get acclimated before the waves started heading out.  “Waves” are typically done by cap-color age groups (and gender in a co-ed event), and this was no exception.  However, we “try-its” were the last two waves to go – since our course was shorter, and we had the potential to drown when being run over by those who knew what they were doing!  Fortunately, because I haven’t hit 40 yet, I wasn’t in the LAST wave – but the next-to-last.

Finally, it was time for the gold-caps (me) to line up with pink-caps behind us (the 40 & overs).  We were all vying to be at the back of the pack, but it’s virtually impossible when none of us wanted to be out front.  However, someone had to go out front, and after all of the jockeying was said and done, I did find myself at the front of the pack.  Oh well – I’ll swim the best I can. 

I actually felt STRONG heading to the first (of two) buoy.  I was using a freestyle (crawl) stoke, but really feeling winded.  When I made it to the buoy, I rolled to my back, as I’d seen MANY others do.  I was able to catch my breath, check out the gals behind me, and “rest.”  However, I had a heck of a time keeping “straight” – and found myself really frustrated to be going somewhat perpendicular to the course I needed to be on.  I rolled back to my belly, for better sighting of buoy #2 – but couldn’t breathe.  So, I decided to alternate between side stroke & breast stroke.  It worked – but it seemed miles to the second turn.  Finally making the second turn, I again rolled to my back, for more rest.  What I didn’t consider, however, is that the full-length swimmers joined us at this point.  Lots of foot-grabbing, side-jabbing, etc. ensued – and I just had to swim the best I could.  I had NO IDEA how long I’d been in the water – I didn’t want to stop swimming to look at my watch.  Finally, I sighted the “stand up” buoy…and was there.  I felt no dizziness (as I had in practice after standing after swimming), and felt fortunate to make it out of the water quickly.  I checked my watch and it read 14:47!  WOW! I’d truly expected it to be 30-45 minutes – no wonder I was tired!

Transition 1 was easy…my wetsuit came off easily, and the only challenge was bending over to dry my feet, causing light-headedness.  But, before I knew it, I was off.  I was now in familiar territory, as I knew the course & knew how to manage the mount/dismount area, what my nutritional intake should be, etc. 

On my way to the mount area, I heard someone holler, “Go Chanda!”  I was SHOCKED to see a friend from high school.  In fact, I doubted it was really her, as I thought she lived in Utah.  Come to find out, it WAS her, and she lives in Florida – but was here visiting family, and some of them were in the event.  That was so AWESOME!

The bike course was a breeze –and I felt like a rock star to be passing rider after rider!  (The bike is definitely my strong leg.)

Heading back in toward transition 2, I spotted Heather, camera in hand, and felt so wonderful to have my own cheer team there.  Quick change to my running shoes, a quick swig of water, and I was off.  However, I quickly realized that I was NOT going to be able to run – my bladder was FULL!  (This surprisingly wasn’t a problem at my last event.)  There were no porta-potties in the transition area, and I wasn’t sure I’d find one along the course.  However, we were running through a park, and just steps off the running path was a REAL bathroom just steps away.  I decided that I’d more than make up the time if I were able to run, so I made a dash for it.  Much relieved, I was back on the course in no time.  I ran/walked the whole route, and I think I probably ran more than I walked.  I was passed by many other athletes, but knew I was no where near last, this time, and was just really pleased with this event.

Heather was at the finish with me, of course, and let me cry on her shoulder as the emotions hit!  I enjoyed a plate of food, a hula show, and we were headed home.

Results were posted this week.  I cut nearly 4 minutes off my previous bike time, and 18 seconds off my run (COUNTING the bathroom break…so it was probably closer to 2 minutes).  Not bad work for 7 short weeks!  I came in 74th out of 81 people in my bracket!  I’ll take it.

This week, I realized that my knees never once hurt on the run course!  That is PROGRESS!

For the remainder of the summer, I really start strength-training & speed work.  Next event is Warrior Dash in September (for fun), followed by the beginning of formal training for my marathon beginning in October, with a few short running events during the holidays.  My marathon is only 6 ½ months away – I can’t believe it!  This life is so very exciting – each day brings new strength-finding hope!

Yep – I’m still counting my blessings & living my fit dreams!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Just DU it!

The past month has been mentally challenging.  The run-up to RnR was mentally & physically exhausting, and post RnR I was just not mentally engaged.  I truly just wanted this season to be over with.  During my phone chat with Lea last week, she reassured me that this is normal & that I’ve really earned my downtime over the next couple of weeks.  But, she also reminded me that I was prepared for this upcoming race.  I know, too, that our seasonably wet NW weather was part of the problem…and that sun is just around the corner to re-warm my soul!

Tuesday night, I had my last pre-race training with the tri team at Get Bold.  I was the only one not intending to do the triathlon, but that night’s training was just bike/run, so I was looking forward to it.  We did a relatively easy 10 mile ride followed by a 2 mile run.  As usual, I was the last one in, but I felt strong about my performance that night. 

I had a relatively light training week planned, but my last workout was the Fit Right NW’s First Thursday Urban Adventure Run.  It’s a really fun event – this was my third month.  I look forward to the camaraderie in the community & I’ve recruited a few coworkers to join me.  This week, however, the weather was terrible, my attitude was terrible, and if I hadn’t carpooled with another participant that day, I’d totally have bagged!  However, about quitting time that night, the weather broke, the sun came out, and I was dressed to go.  Coworker Mike (as opposed to Iron Man Mike) picked me up & we ran.  The fun evening reminded me why I’ve chosen this new lifestyle – and that my fitness level isn’t all about planned workouts & PRs – but about being able to participate in the “fun stuff” in life.  I’m so grateful that things turned out the way they did, because my attitude did a complete turnaround & I was so prepared for this weekend’s event – the Blue Lake Triathlon/Duathlon!

Saturday morning, I woke up ready to roll.  I truly can’t remember what I had for breakfast – lol – but I did grab my prerequisite soy latte on the way to the race.  As I was loading the bike on the car, my husband (E.T.) came out dressed & ready to go.  I was shocked!  Though he has supported my efforts, this is not really his thing.  And, with the exception of Warrior Dash last year, he has never come to a race.  I don’t blame him – if you’re not into the event, it can be quite boring, waiting around for three hours hoping to see your loved one passing by – once or twice at most.  (I love being there, regardless, and like to volunteer – but understand it’s not fun, if you’re not “into” it.)  We have a good understanding here…he supports my choice to participate, and I don’t expect him to be bored out of his mind.  So, having him come along meant the world to me!  He knew I’d been struggling, wouldn’t have anyone there to take photos (my Get Bold mates were busy running their races), and hoped he’d be able to see me a few times.  I think he also wanted to see what this is really all about.  It really made my day to have him there!  (And, I’ve made sure he knows it!)

So, we got to Blue Lake in plenty of time for me to figure out where the transition area was, where the Run Out/In, Bike Out/In, etc. areas were, make the requisite potty stops, and all.  I felt very calm by the time I needed to be getting race-ready.  E.T. had found a place to park right in front of the transition area (he has disabled parking plates – so has a slight advantage there), and set up with his “keep busy” stuff for the day.

This might sound silly, but one of the things that made me really feel like the rock-star athlete I’ve been working toward was getting the body-marking done.  Left calf side – race number, right side calf back – age.  (I still don’t understand the age thing, but LOVED watching the numbers as people passed me…oldest was 69, youngest 10!)  After body-marking, I set up my race area & found my Get Bold friends.  We had a few encouraging words, as I watched them tug on their wetsuits, and went our separate ways. 

One thing I’ve discovered in training & at other races is that it takes me about ½ hour – or two miles – to really get in my groove, and be able to run rather than walk.  Since it was a cold morning and I had plenty of time, I worried less about being worn out, and more about being ready.  I spent a good ½ hour walking, doing short sprints, stretching, and getting my body warmed up in general.  (This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but was “new” to me.)  I think it really helped me get going faster.  I took in a gel (Chocolate Agave #9) about 10 minutes before the start.

So, we heard the first swim wave take off, and it was time for all of the duathletes to start our first 5K in a mass start.  (There were only ~80 of us total.)  I found my spot mid-pack, and struggled for the first ½ mile or so, since the run path took us through wet grass & mud – something I wasn’t prepared for.  But, I kept moving.  I was pretty much mid-back of the pack through the turnaround, but quickly found myself at the back of a pack of about 5 people on the way back in.  With ½ mile to go, I found myself in last place.  There was a nice, older gentleman who was sag support, and rode clear to the transition with me, chatting with me all the way.  (I LOVE the volunteers, and this is why I love to volunteer myself!)  It was really encouraging to see, as we approached the lake, that there were still swimmers out there & I knew I wasn’t starting the bike leg in last place!

As I came into transition, E.T. spotted me – jumped out of the car – and got some really good photos.  I was again so appreciative that he came along.  It was really easy to spot my bike, as the duathletes were separated from the triathletes and the relay teams – and mine was the only one left in the racks! J  But, I changed shoes, took a big swig of electrolyte, and started the long, muddy run to the bike mounting area.  (Another thing I hadn’t anticipated – how far, in the mud, uphill it would be to the bike mount.)

The bike ride, though extremely windy, was a long, flat ride, and I had no problems. Get Bold coach, Elba, called out “Go Rockstar” as he passed me…which I needed to hear. I took in a gel (Chocolate Agave #9) at the turn-around, and managed to drink a little more than one bottle of electrolyte during the ride.  I was thankful not to be one of the two “casualties” I’d seen on the course (one injury, one flat tire).  Coming back into transition (again, a long way from the bike dismount) it was a bit more difficult to re-rack my bike, as the other athletes had been less than careful about making sure there was room for one more.  I also learned not to be so haphazard in my transition area – everything of mine had been run over and muddied.  Lessons learned.  E.T. missed me coming in, but was able to wave as I headed out for run #2.

Having already run the course once, I was able to anticipate & plan my second run.  Planned to walk to mile 1, then run as much as possible.  However, “run as much as possible” was relative – I was TIRED!  I really enjoyed, though, seeing all of the athletes on the course, and the encouragement that those you passed in the opposite direction gave.  The closer I got to the end of the course, the more encouraging people were.  I wonder if it’s because we all were “back of the pack-ers” or if it’s just the way it is at a multi-sport event.  Regardless, it was great.  I saw a couple of gals from my Get Bold group – they had later swim starts, so were just behind me starting the run, and a couple were just ahead of me finishing it.  E.T. was at the mile 3 marker to take my photo as I readied to take the last hill to the finish line, and the Get Bold team was waiting for me –so we could all have our photos together. 

We stuck around for some post-race food (strawberry shortcake, sans shortcake J), and enjoyed the atmosphere for a while.  Then, we headed to our planned post-race Mongolian grill meal.  (Meat and veggies!)

Having been in such an end-of-season funk, this event was surprisingly my favorite event I’ve done so far.  Warrior Dash was fun in its own way, and each race has been unique – but this is my first multi-sport event…and the kind of event that is my end goal – and I TRULY enjoyed it.  One of the most enjoyable parts was seeing the kids in the “try-it” division of the triathlon – and I have dreams of encouraging my 7-year-old nephew to try it with me soon!

I am moving on to the next phase of my training year – “strength building” – after a couple of weeks of mental & physical recovery.  (Not doing nothing…just very little.)  I plan to spend some time enjoying physical FUN- swimming, playing ball, hiking, biking and other summer activities.  I’ll be concentrating on getting myself ready for the rigors of training for my first full marathon.  And, above all, I’ll be LIVING MY FIT DREAMS!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


It hardly seems like it can be over already!  I’ve anticipated the Inaugural Portland Rock N Roll Half Marathon for over a year – and it’s OVER.  Oh, and I ROCKED! J

Let’s get the “numbers” out of the way first.  My goal-goal was to finish before the four-hour cutoff.  I knew, with much certainty, that I’d finish before the pooper-scoopers picked me up, as the four-hour time limit didn’t start until the last corral (#24) had started, as I was in #20…so that bought me a few minutes.  But, I wanted to know that I’d really beaten the four-hour mark.  I thought I’d finish around 3:45…but actually crossed the finish line with a chip-time of 3:35:45, for a per mile time of 6:29.  I was super pleased!  (Someone commented if I hadn’t stopped three times to use the facilities, I’d have made 3:30…but I’m not sure – I doubt I was in there two minutes each time!)

(For those offended by Potty Talk – you might want to stop here…there will be gas/poo/and bras discussed at some point!)

Nutrition Plan

So, Coach Lea asked me last week – what is your race day plan?  I admitted that I was just planning to finish…but it did drive me to think about my “real” plan.  The biggest plan was NO G.I. DISTRESS (a.k.a. stomach pains & poo)! (I warned you!)  For any athlete, G.I. distress can be an issue, if you change up your diet in the week before the race – especially in the nutritional supplement department.  I believe it can be even worse for a WLS patient – with our “unique” food restrictions.  So, last week, I was particularly prudent to stick to the meal plan Lea had written for me (I usually do ~90% - but this week I was spot-on!), and to make sure that I had a plan for race day.

The plan was this: carry my 40oz hydration pack with 4 dissolved NUUN tablets (my electrolyte of choice), and drink water at the aid stations – whether I felt I needed it, or not.  No Gatorade (the offered electrolyte), as I hadn’t “practiced” with it.  (No biggie –it was only lemon-lime – and I hate it!)  I ran out of NUUN right before the last aid station, and had one more chug of water…which worked out great.  (Need to have a plan for longer races, though – either a larger hydration pack, or a “refill.”)

Food-wise, (this was NOT Lea’s plan) I had a frozen banana with peanut butter early in the morning, a soy latte on the way to the race, and some trail mix while waiting in the corral to start.  My during-race plan was having a gel every 45 minutes. I like GU peanut butter (the ones handed out at the race expo!) and GU Mandarin Orange – as well as Chocolate #9 (agave energy gel).  Having this many gels in a row was new for me, and I was a bit concerned about a rumbly tummy, but I had them as planned, and except for a little gas between mile 7 & 10, seemed to have no issues.  (On longer training runs, I use gels & trail mix, and sometimes ½ of a p.b. sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread.)

One thing that I need to work on is my post-race plan.  I really hate chocolate milk, which is the post-race beverage of choice for most folks.   (Though I didn’t see any here…but that may be because of my delirium – more on that later.)  In fact, I am pretty picky about my protein shakes in general.  The only protein drink I’ve really found that I Like-Like is Jay Robb Tropical Dreamsicle Whey Protein powder mixed with soy milk.  I’m going to have to learn to carry it along – even if I have to mix it with water.  Post-race, I just had half a bagel & another jug of water…though they did pass out these really neat little boxes (looks like airplane snack food) with pita chips, hummus, trail mix, and a little piece of dark chocolate. 

Race Execution

I did have a plan, too, for HOW I was going to do this race. If you’ve been following me long, you know that I’m still a wanna-be in the “run” department – though I’ve made great progress the past couple of months.  My plan was to WALK – JUST WALK – the first half.  I knew that most of the up-hills were in the first half, and that a group of friends would be at mile 7.  My plan was to walk until then, and see how I felt.  If I wasn’t having any wonky knee or foot pain, I’d try running on the down-hills and – more than anything else – I wanted to run the last mile.  I wanted RUNNING PHOTOS. 

And, that’s exactly what happened! J  There were a couple of down-hills that looked steep, and slippery with the rain – so I walked those.  But, on the longer, gentler slopes, I ran.  I think, all told, I ran 2.5-3 miles.  I am very happy with that.

Being in the Moment

One thing I’ve struggled with in this process is enjoying the journey.  A planner, by nature, I want to figure out how to get to the end goal – but along the way, I often miss the fun pieces of the process.  Only after the fact, do I realize that the let-down is that the process/journey is over.  So, I made a conscious effort to take note of things I enjoyed about this day, and things that might not have been so enjoyable – but still got noticed.  This was a huge step for me.  Here are things I can think of off the top of my head:

*One of my WLS sisters (Sarah) came from out of town to spend the weekend with me & do this race.  It wasn’t her first ½, but she was as excited as I was.

*First thing, I was able to hook up with a bunch of girls I’d met online (Running Chicks in PDX), most of whom I hadn’t met before.  One thing I did was put a sign on my back “I’m a Chick – Chanda,” and when other Chicks passed me, they said, “Hello.”  It meant the world to me!  (Sarah commented on the fact that some might think I was advertising I wasn’t a “dude.” LOL!)

*On my way to my starting corral, I ran into Iron Man Mike (I knew he was there, but hadn’t figured on being able to hook up).  We had a hug and photo, and were on our way.  Just minutes later, I happened across an acquaintance who is also an Iron Man.  He was encouraging, too!

*As we crossed the Hawthorne Bridge, I noticed a young gal carrying a baby!  I chatted with her – it was her first ½ - and her baby is only THREE WEEKS OLD.  It was, obviously, her baby’s first, too! J  I wished her luck, and kept going.

*I had a gal come up behind me and say, “Chanda?  Like, Enell Chanda?”  LOL!  I believe I discussed last year the importance of good “support” – especially when running – and she’d seen me (my post, not my “girls”) on the Enell bras FB page, saying that I was doing the RnR this weekend.  She was an Enell Sister!  Thank you, Kelly Mooney, for making the effort to say HI (and share your SUPPORT – LOL!) as you passed me.  (I tried to catch you the rest of the race!)

*The bands were great!  The second band was a group of young boys – not even teenagers – that were just the cutest thing!  There were all sorts of bands – all genres – but, my favorite one was at the last aid-station – a country-ish band.  They were singing Sawyer Brown’s “The Race is On,” as I passed by – and got READY TO RUN the last mile.

*At mile 7, a group of non-racing Chicks were there to encourage us & feed those who wanted pretzels, gummy bears, and M&Ms.  (I refrained, though the pretzels looked appealing.)  I stopped to thank them for being there –and use their chair while removing the rock I’d picked up in my shoe along the way.  Thanks to Rose & Shelly (& the others)!!!

*As we were mostly running in residential areas, there were lots of homes with folks out cheering us on.  One lady was even handing out Mimosas!  (Not part of the nutrition plan – and I did NOT partake!)

*There were several medical tents along the way, people stopping for minor (I hope) aches and pains.  I did feel a toe that was a little “hot” – but it wasn’t painful, so I never stopped.  (It did end up being a blister, I found when I got home.)  At Mile 10, the med tent was FULL…I’m hoping that it was just minor stuff, but one lady was laid out – looking not too good.  I am thankful to not have had to utilize their services!

*I did notice along the way that I was having a couple of the “issues” I’ve discovered in training – particularly hunched back & shoulders & bloating in my fingers.  (I’d remembered NOT to wear my rings.)  I worked at making sure to put my hands up over my head at times & to do some arm swings & circles.  It all seemed to help!

*There were folks of all shapes, sizes, ages & abilities in this race…and at all STAGES of the race.  Larger folks who ran the whole thing, “fit-looking” folks who came in right before the pick-up wagon (and at the medical tents), and folks racing in the wheelchair division.  It just goes to show that “fit” is not a size, age, or personality.  I need to keep being reminded of that.  An active lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle, not a demographic.

*We had rain on and off, but it was a warm day.  When out doing a recovery-ish walk today (Tuesday), I realized why it rained. This was the kick-off event for the Portland Rose Festival…and it ALWAYS rains during Rose Festival! J


So, as I finished the race, they took our photos.  I look like I felt – spent & elated.  There were LIMITED tears J  I’m just so grateful to have had this opportunity – a new life. 

I scheduled Monday off of work, and boy am I glad I did.  I wasn’t terribly sore, as I’d had a great session with my trusty foam roller on Sunday afternoon.  But, I was dehydrated & delirious.  In fact, from the time I came through the finish chute, I just couldn’t seem to focus, and Monday was much the same.  I spent the day resting…realizing I’d had 35,000 steps on Sunday and only 1,500 on Monday!  I slept, drank water, ate, hung out with Sarah, and slept some more.

Today, I returned to work, life, and workouts – realizing that my first duathlon is only DAYS away!  Tonight is my recovery massage…and then I’m back to real-life.

I’m not only planning my future – but I’m ROCKIN’ MY FIT DREAMS!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ready to Rock N Roll (inaugural Portland RnR 1/2 marathon)

I thought I’d do a little pre-race rambling…rambling being my specialty, and all!

It’s been sixteen months since my gastric bypass surgery and I’m still so very much in awe of the opportunity I had to change my life.  I am truly “living” my fit dreams – rather than just “dreaming” them.  I had a minor blip in the weight-loss radar last month, but the trip weight has come off –and taken 8 more pounds with it.  I have 18 pounds to goal – and my hope is to be there before my 18-month anniversary in July.

I’ve become an ENDURANCE athlete.  Anyone who can do anything athletic for three to four hours (or more) – is an endurance athlete, no matter the pace.  I’m no longer afraid of not finishing…or even of coming in last.  Quitting is not an option – unless truly injured or sick.

As I’ve said before, for me the planning is usually as much fun as the event itself.  I signed up for the RnR half more than a year ago –and it’s FINALLY race weekend!  Reading back through some of my previous entries, I’m realizing that I need to prepare for my post-race “low.”  I started “training” for this race in October & I do have to say, though, that I did hit an “I don’t really care” phase a couple of weeks ago…which I understand is normal.  I’m past it now – and looking forward to seeing just how much I can do this weekend.  I truly just want to “finish” – but do have a general idea of what time to expect.  We’ll see how much the race-day-adrenaline-rush helps! J

After this race, I only have two more events for the year on the calendar.  I’d “planned” to do a lot more, but anyone who does these events knows that it can be a financial burden.  We’ve had some unexpected things come up, so I’m only going to do the races I’ve already paid for.  This will allow me to change up my plan for the summer…and I’m looking forward to a different training phase.

June 9th, I’ll be doing the Blue Lake Sprint Duathlon.  It will be my last race until fall, and I’ll spend the summer working on “strength”-training rather than “base”-training.

It seems odd to be “ending” my season when others are just ramping up J  But, my goal is to strengthen over the summer (doing Warrior Dash in the fall), and then progress to setting up for my planned February marathon.  (My “I’m going to do a marathon before I turn 40” goal!)  Which means I’ll be off-kilter from others who use the fall/winter months for their strength training & spring/summer for races.  I’ve always marched to my own drummer J

I’ll report again early next week – to share my RnR story.  In fact, the story has already started – but you’ll have to stay tuned!

Living My Fit Dreams!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still moving...

This is my “high-mileage” week before my slight taper before the Rock N Roll Half, and I’m really enjoying the fact that I’m ABLE to do it.  The week started off with a brick night at Tri Club (with my ride to/from it was 19 miles on the bike and two walking), progressed to 6 miles last night (5 walking, 1 running), and amps up with the Urban Adventure Run tonight (~3 mi for me).  After a break tomorrow, I’ll get in a 12 mile (my longest) walk/run on Saturday and ~6 miles on Sunday.  I’m feeling so great about this!

But, this past month of ramp-up hasn’t been without its pitfalls.  I’ve been on the road three weekends (and partial weeks) in a row.  Though I’m proud to say I’ve been 90% faithful to the training plan, my eating has suffered.  “Suffering” is relative – in that my “bad” days aren’t anything compared with the “old” days – but I’m still learning how to navigate this new lifestyle.

I spent a retreat weekend with a bunch of girls at beautiful Wallowa Lake, Oregon.  The scenery was great, the company was even better, and it was so nice to just relax.  I got out for my daily walks (and discovered what “high-altitude training” means), and really enjoyed the peace and quiet away from the city noise I usually endure.  However, having “let” someone else make my food choices for me (well, cooking the meals – I CHOSE to eat them) was a challenge.  I discovered first-hand what gastric bypass patients refer to as “GI Distress.”  Let it suffice to say that I’ve learned that O.J. is NOT my friend.  J

Then, I spent 10 days in Texas for work & play.  Another 10 days of not cooking, not being 100% on track food-wise – but still MOSTLY on track in the workout department.  When the humidity hit at the end of my trip (oy vey!), I was kind of a wuss. 

One of the things I most looked forward to in Texas was going to Six Flags…and I was NOT disappointed!  Having been too big for roller coasters for many years, I appreciated having no doubts about my ability to ride ALL of the rides.  I had so much fun!

The encouraging part of the trip was that I knew I was still making great progress toward my half-marathon goal.  The struggle was when I stepped on the scale upon my return home!  The number was SHOCKING – but also a reality check.  I am very much back in the “real world” food/exercise/weight wise, and must be very mindful of the choices I’m making.  It’s OK to have fun – but to know there are consequences.  Fun needs to be short-lived, and “special.”  I’m back on track now!

While on my Texas trip, I worked on laying out my training from now until Birch Bay (Feb 2013).  I’ve read through this great book – The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett, Forrest Dolgener & Tanjala Kole – and I’d highly recommend it.  I’m going to use it as my training guide to get me to & through my first marathon.  The premise is that ANYONE can complete a marathon – and that it’s just as much mind work as body.  I encourage others to check it out!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Long Winded Today

Three messages - I guess I have lots to say!

I have decided to make Blue Lake a duathlon race for me, not triathlon.  I'm putting a lot of energy into getting ready for my half-marathon, and if I tried to add the swim in there, lacking as my skills are at this point (not a lie!), I'd take away from the goals I've set for this year.  I have plenty of time/years to work toward the full triathlon goal, and do it sensibly.  So, this year it's run/bike/run.
Every day seems easier, and I'm really loving this life choice.  And, I love that I have such a great support group - growing in size and quality.  (If you're reading this - that includes you!)
I've also chosen my 40th birthday marathon (2/2013).  The Birch Bay Marathon and Half (Birch Bay, WA), has no time limit - everyone gets to finish!  The date isn't set yet, but I think it's President's Day Weekend - the weekend before my birthday.  I'm looking for some folks to commit to go with me.  (There IS a half, if you're not ready to commit to the full.)  Will you join me?  (DS has said he will!)
And, as always, I'm LIVING MY FIT DREAMS, as I weed out the lies and plant new life.  (Shall I put an Easter plug in here?  New Life!)

New Life

The other day, DS and I were talking about his mile time (under 8 min), and I said to him, "Can you run the whole thing?"  He said, yes.  He couldn't believe that I hadn't been able to do it yet.  Though he’s young (17), he said he only works out once a week at ROTC, and whatnot. And he challenged, how can I - working out HARD five days per week - NOT be able to do it.  Whatever!

So, yesterday at lunch, I thought I'd at least try.  My training plan said 3 x 1 mile @ 5-10K pace.  So, I thought I'd at least try to run the first one.  Low and behold I was able to do it (9:50).  I walked for 7 minutes, then did my second one (12:35).  I was pooped, but after another 7 minutes, tried for my third.  I tanked about 1/2 way, and ended up walking 1/4 mile - but kicked it out for the last 1/4 - for 13:58.  Not terribly fantastic, but better than my 14:45 normal walking pace.

Got back to my desk & looked at Facebook - someone had posted a picture that says, "Whether it is a 14 minute mile or a 7 minute mile, it is still a mile."  Darned right!

I've been doing great endurance-wise.  I'm up to 9 miles this Saturday.  Even if my 1/2 marathon was this week - I know I could do the whole distance, and even in the time limit (4 hrs).  Truly, at this point, I even believe that I could do a marathon!

So, after my amazing RUN, I still had to go to my first night of "Tri with Karen."  I wasn't sure what to expect - all the sheet said was "easy group ride to Prairie Tavern."  Not having a bike rack yet, though - I knew I'd have to ride to the studio and back - not a big deal, as it's three flat miles each way.

Well, I got to the studio, and besides Karen and Elba (the owners), there were only two other gals - both my age-ish.  One gal did this program last year, and admitted that on the first ride last year she'd had to push her bike up the bike-path hill.  (I already knew I could handle the hill, albeit slowly.)  The other gal hasn't done anything like this before, either.  There will be a third gal joining us some weeks, but she isn't going to do the event - she's just using the program for her workouts.  So, all in all, a well-matched group for me, I think!

On the way out, I did well at keeping pace with the group.  The hill was a bugger, but no harder for me than anything else.  At the tavern (outside, not in – LOL!), we stopped for a breather, water, etc.  I struggled a bit more with the hill (it's shorter/steeper on the return) and fell to the back of the group - but still felt good about my pace.  I ended up riding 12.5 miles total.

Anyway - it was so great to have finished my first brick day!  (“Brick” is a fancy way of saying “I did TWO workouts today.”) My knees are talking today, but I have an easy three-mile day - which I'm going to walk - and a massage tonight.  (Another lie weeded out…I’m WORTH the time & expense for acupuncture & massage as it keeps me moving!)

Weeding out Lies

This can be cliché, but we are often our own worst enemies.  The lies that are firmly rooted in our brains tend to strangle out the roots of the new ideas we try to plant.  I’ve had a week of “weeding” out some of those problems.

It all started with a conversation with a friend – who herself has a weight struggle – and has been one of my most steadfast supporters on this journey. 

Friend: I realized – while I am ready for change and have been for quite a while my hindrance is that I don’t believe I can succeed.  So even though I have all the tools I need to be successful I don’t do those things because I don’t believe it will work for me.  Funny – we’re talking about faith in church and one of the things that the Pastor keeps saying is that you won’t get the results you want if you’re believing wrong about something.  For example – you’re not likely to receive healing if you don’t believe it’s God’s will to heal you even if you’d like to be healed.  It works the same for the weight loss I think – even though I want to lose weight I don’t believe I can and so I don’t take the steps I know I should (and can) because I don’t believe it will make any difference.  So, guess I need to work on my “believer.”
Me: I know EXACTLY what you mean there.  DH asked me not long ago, “Could you have lost the weight without the surgery?”  I said, “No, because I didn’t think I had it in me.”  The tool was my crutch – but also my rope from the bottom of the canyon.  No, I shouldn’t have NEEDED the surgery – but it was what made me finally think I could be successful.  I did still have to climb out, though.  I do understand your mindset here. 
Friend: Interesting choice of terms – Pastor just said last week – God doesn’t mind if you use a crutch while you’re getting your mindset correctly.  Sometimes crutches are what it takes to get us from unbelieving to believing, from doubt to faith.
We’ve probably talked about this before (when it was you rather than me…) but did you know that the “problem” was that you didn’t believe you could be successful and what did you do to deal with that, surgery aside.  I’m trying to stop running myself down for failed past attempts and all that and put into practice the things I know are true and will work but what I’ve found in my brain is that I’m looking for that one “thing” that will ensure my success because I’m so tired of failing.
Me: No, I didn’t know that that was the problem.  My mindset was always “If I could just get over the hump – pain wise – I could do this.”  Which, in my case, proved to be very true.  My pain isn’t all gone, but the helping hand of surgery did help me get over several humps – past weights which I previously couldn’t hurdle, past the bulk of my plantar fasciitis, etc.  But, I’m also of the mindset that “I don’t want to be another statistic.”  I see too many people have this surgery and end up gaining it back. 
I was very clear in my purpose – this was so I could LIVE MY FIT DREAMS.  (That’s not just my blog tag line – but truly my intention.)  In fact, I talked to my acupuncture gal today about that – my “new” fear – what if I can’t accomplish these dreams because of injury, etc.  She reminded me that I’m so enjoying the JOURNEY that it really shouldn’t be an issue.  I might have to change the sport of choice – but that opens new adventures, too.
Unfortunately, we all have such different head stuff – but to the same end.
After these discussions regarding belief, I had opportunity to find out if I was really ready, myself, to put some things to the test.  (See next post – this one is too long!)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Another Season

This season, starting today with the arrival of my 39th birthday, is going to be great!  I'm SO looking forward to all of the things I'm going to accomplish before the "big 4-0"!!!

This past week, I signed up once again to work with Bariathlete's Lea - for some hand-holding regarding sports nutrition for the bariatric athlete.  I want to be on my "A game" for the year, and I know her expertise will help.

I also signed up for Bold Fitness' "Tri with Karen" program.  I'm planning to do two sprint triathlons this year, and she's the gal to get me going in that department.  Along those lines, I'm also signing up for a month of "adult swim lessons."  It sounds so silly to say that - but for those of us a bit removed from the childhood summers at the pool, a bit of coaching in the "efficiency" department isn't such a bad idea.

I'm still training, too, for the RnR 1/2 marathon, and have added one or two more to my planned season.  

I'm so excited all this season has to bring!  I'm really working toward my "now dream" of being an Ironman (Ironwoman)!!!  MENTALLY, I already am!

Thanks for joining me on my journey of Living My Fit Dreams!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hijacked from a friend

I was stuck in a canyon, and weight loss surgery was the rope lowered to me, not the helicopter sent to carry me out.  I still had to do the work to get out of the canyon - one step at a time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Results are in!!!

My company offers annual health screenings, and I’ve always been a wuss and not participated.  Now, I’m kicking myself, because I don’t have an “on record” comparison.  But, I did go back in my Kaiser record to look up my past results.  According to the folks here today, everything is “optimal” in the blood department – and in the BMI/Body Fat %, I’m getting there J

I’m especially pleased, because I’m eating a “real food” diet, and taking “real people” vitamins – not necessarily “bariatric.”  But, that’s my life goal – to be a “real people” – in fact, a “REAL ATHLETE PEOPLE!”  J  Yes, my friends – I rock!!!!

Check it out!

Total Cholesterol – should be less than 200
Today – 148
10/23/10 – 150
5/17/09 – 149
5/17/09 -164

Triglycerides – should be less than 150
Today – 46
10/23/10 – 67
5/17/09 – 59
5/17/09 -85

HDL – should be greater than 60
Today – 68
10/23/10 – 43
5/17/09 – 48
5/17/09 – 45

LDL – should be less than 100
Today – 71
10/23/10 – 94
5/17/09 – 89
5/17/09 -102

Total Cholesteral/HDL ratio – should be less than 4
Today – 2.2
5/17/06 – 3.6

Today (taken with an electronic gizmo)
BMI – 29.8 (just high – not VERY high)
Body Fat % - 33.9 (21-33% is normal for women 20-39!!!)

Living my fit dreams - and have the blood work to show it!