From Fat to Triathlete

Training

The Sin of Envy

July 8, 2010

I must admit – I am lusting after something.  My strong Baptist background causes me to cringe with guilt, but it doesn’t last long.  The item that I desire so strongly is a pair of Vibram 5 Fingers shoes (affiliate link).  5fingershoesThe first time I saw a pair was at the Wrightsville Beach marathon.  They fit your feet like socks, but are made with materials that allow you to run, hike, kayak, play without injury to your feet.  They simulate being barefoot which is the most natural way to be.  It is much healthier for you and helps keep your body in alignment so you have less risk of injury.

My preferred method of being is barefoot.  I hate wearing shoes.  I will take them off as soon as I can and if it’s possible not to wear them, I won’t.  When I saw the Vibram 5 Fingers I was extremely interested.  After hearing how much people love them, I can’t wait to get a pair.  I’ve been reading up and the benefits of exercising barefoot and it just makes sense.

Here are links with more information

Health Benefits of Barefooting

Barefoot Running Laced with Health Benefits

Barefoot and Grounded

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In or Out?

June 30, 2010

Yesterday’s workout consisted of some time outside and some time in the gym.  I believe I got great benefit from both workouts.  I started with a 45 bike ride, taking the long way to the gym.  When I got there, I locked up my bike, threw everything in a locker and headed for the exercise bike where I completed my hour bike ride with 15 minutes on the trainer.  Then I stopped for a few minutes, drank some water and ate a packet of  Power Bar Power Gel Blasts, (affiliate link). sampling_box_img3The flavor was Strawberry Banana and when I opened the pouch, they looked just like banana slices with some strawberry gel coating.  I was skeptical.  But, I thought I would probably need some energy for my 30 minute run, so I ate them.  They were actually very tasty and I was impressed with how much energy I had to run on the treadmill.  I felt like I could go a lot longer and ended up bumping up my speed a few times.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I did not purchase these Gel Blasts, I got them for free.  However, it was a free sample offer that PowerBar is advertising on their website.  They did not provide them to me for free in order for a review.  If you would like your free sample, just go here.  All that to say, I will most likely purchase these and use them in the future.

I enjoyed the indoor/outdoor aspect of my workout.  I really like riding my bike outdoors, but with the heat the way it has been spending an hour and a half outside would have been overly taxing.  It was nice to be able to cool off and use a bathroom.  So, which do you prefer?  Indoor or outdoor workouts?

Todays workout was a 30 minute run which I did outside and was able to take Wrigley with me as it was cooler than it has been.

Still tri-in

Jenn

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Let the Countdown Begin

June 27, 2010

Today marks the official start of my 20 week half ironman training.  The program I am using is from BeginnerTriathlete.com and can be found here.  The plan calls for a 40 minute run and 40 minute swim workout.  I’m not sure about fitting in the swim today, but the plan is to go canoeing this evening and I think that will give me the arm workout I need.  This morning’s run was 2.5 miles in 40 minutes.  And it is hot, hot, hot out.  According to weather.com, it is 86 degrees with 77% humidity.  I know it’s been hotter, and this isn’t a complaint, (I complained about the cold, so I have a hard time justifying complaints about the heat too…..) just observations about this morning’s weather.  I don’t really mind so much for myself, but Wrigley begs to go with me, and who can refuse this face?

wrigley azaleas So, I let him run with me for 15 minutes.  We try to follow all the safety rules for running with your pet.  It’s not worth it if something were to happen to him.

Exercise is important for a healthy, well-behaved dog.  We love that we can take Wrigley with us when we go places and he will be a nice calm boy.  But, this didn’t just happen.  We exercise his body by running and playing and his brain by taking him to obedience and agility classes and working with him every day.  There are some guidelines to exercising with your dog that I think can’t be said enough.

  • Do not participate in vigorous exercise within 45 minutes of eating.  This can lead to bloat which is a very serous and potentially deadly condition.  Some of the signs of bloat are pacing, hard or distended stomach, panting and drooling and unproductive attempts to vomit.  If you see any of these symptoms, call your vet immediately.
  • Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water to drink.
  • If it’s hot, try to exercise early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Keep a close watch on them and stop if they seem to be overheated, panting excessively or are acting outside of normal.
  • Never exercise with your dog if they have a injury or medical condition.

As I read back through these tips, the advice is good for 2 legged and 4 legged runners, except for maybe the bloat part.  People can choose for themselves what works best as far as eating and exercise.  If you are new to exercising, especially in the heat, be safe and don’t overdo.

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Yesterday I got in 2 miles of running in 34 minutes – 18 minutes for the first mile with Wrigley and 16 for the second on my own.  Evidently we take about 2 minutes for him to stop and smell the roses.  Today’s workout was one mile in about 18 minutes, again with Wrigley.  The one thing I did learn, and it should have been something that was completely obvious, was that if I drink a glass of water before I run, I feel like I have much more energy.  Again, should be something obvious, and I was good about drinking water when I came in from a run, but never before I left.  Mostly because I was worried that I would have to come in for a “natural break” somewhere in the middle of my run.  But I was somewhat surprised at the difference it made.   Now I am trying to get in the habit of having some water and stopping at the bathroom before I leave the house.  I’m sure it will continue to make a difference.  Such a little thing, but with a huge impact on my performance.

slower

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Better Than Nothin

June 3, 2010

100812Tuesday’s run was 1.75 miles in 30 minutes.  I’m trying not to let the lack of speed frustrate me.  At least not now…

Today’s run was preempted by large amounts of rain….I want to do some swim training, but not up and down the street.

Tomorrow’s plan is for a 2.5 mile run, then my long run of 5 miles will be Friday.  I’ll probably try to take Wrigley for at least part of both of them.

I try to do a lot more running than walking.  I know walking is a perfectly good form of exercise, however it will not help me in my quest for a 10 minute mile.  Sometimes however, walking is all that I can muster the energy for.  It’s times like those when I have to just accept that at least I am out there and not on the couch eating chocolate.  ”It’s better than nothing”, so the saying goes.

And I am still tri-in!

Jenn

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It’s hard to believe we are almost halfway through 2010.  Time sure flies!

Don’t forget to take some time this weekend to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day (it’s not just the beginning of the summer vacation season).  Spend some time in remembrance of the men and women that have died fighting for our country.  We wouldn’t be where we are without their sacrifice.

This morning Wrigley and I ran 1.5 miles in 25 minutes.  It’s getting hot and humid out, but I much prefer that to the cold weather!

Here is the plan for the rest of this week:

Monday - run 2.5 miles

Tuesday – run 3 miles

Wednesday – Rest day (walk one mile with Wrigley)

Thursday- run 5 miles

Friday - run 2 miles

Saturday – rest day (walk 1 mile with Wrigley)

The end of June is when my official 20 week half ironman training program begins.  The plan from now until then is to really build up my running mileage and gain some speed.

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Today’s Workout

April 19, 2010
coffee-download

Morning Necessity

My workout for today consisted of hopping on my bike to run to the grocery store and get creamer for our morning coffee.  The total mileage to the store and back is about 1.7 miles.  I justified it to myself in that I rode as hard as I could and really got my heart rate up.  I was please to find that I could hold a 15mph pace the entire stretch.  I know that’s not incredibly fast, but it’s faster than I thought I could sustain without killing myself.  It gave me hope.

I’m going to add the countdown to the Beach2Battleship Half Ironman, which is my goal for this season, to my website.  Hopefully this will be a good motivator.

On a fun note, Wrigley and I participated in our first Rally Competition yesterday.  Rally is a combination of obedience and agility with the dog and handler moving from station to station to complete certain tasks that are written on cards at each station.  Wrigley and I got 87 points out of a possible 100.  We were both extremely excited as it was our first time competing.  Because of a prior commitment, we had to leave before the competition was over so we don’t know yet how we placed, but it really doesn’t matter.  I am super proud of our little boy and how hard he works.  You can check out his blog here, it has a more detailed description of the competition and his agility pursuits.

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Time Keeps on Slippin

April 10, 2010

gear_clockThings have been really busy lately.  And my focus got off track.  I’m working now on bringing it back to where it should be.  I heard something in a podcast this morning that I thought was very interesting. It was that time management doesn’t work.  Time is not something you can control or manage or affect in any way.  As the Steve Miller Band says – “Time keeps on slippin…..into the future”.  But what you can manage is you and what you are doing with the time you are given.  He also said, and I’ve heard this before, that if something is important, you should do it everyday.  Along that line, Gayle is always saying that it’s not that you don’t have time to do something, it’s that you choose to do other things with your time.  All that to say that I have been making some very bad time choices lately and I need to start choosing to do what’s important.  That means exercising, fixing healthy meals, spending quality time working and having fun.

We were talking with a friend at the Wrightsville Beach Marathon a few weeks ago about her experiences with Crossfit Endurance training.  She is very excited about the possibilities and has been certified as a trainer.  So, I came home and started doing some research on Crossfit Endurance training.  What I have learned so far is that it is an anaerobic based training program where you perform interval training at high intensity for shorter periods of time which allows your body to train anaerobically.  The benefits of this anaerobic training include increased strength, decreased fat, increased endurance and increased cardiovascular output.  Another benefit is that the training sessions are not incredibly long.  So, I have been following the workout program for about a week now and will continue to for a few more weeks and then evaluate my progress.  Already I feel faster and like I have more endurance, so that is a good thing.

Soap on the Run

Soap on the Run

I wasn’t able to participate in the marathon this year as I had hoped.  Instead, Glynne’s Soaps, the all natural body product company that Gayle and I own, was a sponsor for the event.  We did this because it seemed like the perfect opportunity to unveil our new product called “Soap on the Run“.  Soap on the Run is an all natural soap in an easy to transport container.  So, you can toss it in your gym bag or travel bag, use it in the shower, replace the cap and toss it back in your bag.  No muss, no fuss, no slimy soap in a Ziploc bag.  It has the added bonus of being all natural, so there are no worries about what is in the chemical detergent available in the gym showers.  It contains therapeutic grade eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils which are beneficial for muscle recovery.   We are very excited about it and it seemed to get a great reception.

My workout for tomorrow is

Sprint/Recover:  3 rounds of (20sec/60sec off, 20sec/50sec off, 20sec/40sec off, 20sec/30sec off, 20sec/20sec off, 20sec/10sec off) Start next round after 10 sec rest

Hopefully I will be able to keep it all straight!

Still tri’n

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The Mind Needs Training Too

January 31, 2010

Gayle and I were talking with a friend the other night who does some training for triathletes.  His name is Bruce Brown, and what he does is performance mental training through Quantum Results Coaching.  He helps people condition their minds to keep going during those long endurance races through relaxation, positive self talk, positive imagery and self hypnosis.  He is full of energy, and I’m considering at least taking one of his workshops.

What we were discussing was my speed.  Gayle and I were both wondering if he had some tips or mental exercises I could do that would help my speed increase.  I am not afraid of long runs or endurance events (I participated in a half ironman 2 1/2 years ago I was 2 miles from the end and would have finished if I hadn’t run out of time.)  But I can’t seem to get my speed up.  I continue to plod along at my pace, rarely wavering, and never getting any quicker.  And if I’m going to meet my goal of finishing an iron distance triathlon next year I need to increase my speed.

He had two tidbits of advice for me. The first was that maybe I truly, deep down, didn’t really want to go any faster.  And if that was the case, then I needed to be honest with myself and tell myself that it was OK to run at the speed that I was at.  Maybe I wouldn’t ever finish an Ironman, but that was OK too, if it was really what I wanted.  So, he suggested I take some time to figure out what it was I wanted…..deep down, and allow myself to pursue THAT want, even if it’s not what I originally thought I wanted.  I have spent some time thinking about this, but will continue to really ponder it.  As of now, it is still my deep desire to get faster and participate in that Ironman.  He did suggest I read The Passion Test as a way to clarify my passion.  Gayle got the book for Christmas, read it, loved it, and it’s on my things to do….I just will have to put it higher on the list.

His second bit of advice was to stop doing all my training with Wrigley because that was slowing me down.  Even though Wrigley is a much faster runner than I am, the time needed to watch out for him and make sure he is safe (and stopping to potty every few minutes) was actually slowing me down.  So I am going to try that.  He will still come with me on my warm up and for a mile or so, but then I will drop him off and continue to train alone.  We will see how that works.

I will keep you updated on how things are going.  Hopefully we can all learn something.  And if you are struggling with the mental aspect of any sport, give Bruce a shout!  He’s a great guy who is full of encouragement and energy.

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I am baaaaaack!

January 25, 2010

This morning was my first official “run” after being sick for way too long!  I didn’t go far, only about 1.5 miles and I certainly didn’t go fast.  But it really was the first time I felt interested in running in a few weeks.  Which is a very good thing.  (Wrigley thinks so too, he has not been sick and has missed the daily running.) 

I want to make sure that I don’t jump back in too fast.  I still have a slight cough and a runny nose (wish I could run that fast!).  So I will be easing my way back in, not trying to do too much.  I wanted to try and eek out that extra 0.5 miles this morning to get to 2 miles, but even though my mind said “Yes” my body was saying, “Well….”  I decided to err on the side of caution.  Which is totally my personallity, and I hope won’t get me in trouble and make me lazy.  But I have every intention of getting back to the level I was at and then increasing my fitness.   Hopefully all while staying healthy. 

I think my marathon plans will have to be put on hold.  I haven’t run longer than 4 miles since before Christmas.  I might go searching for a shorter run or a marathon that is later in the season.  I want to do something in the spring….besides just training.  I will have to see what’s out there.  Any suggestions?

Still tri-in! 

Jenn

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