Tuesday, December 10, 2013

P90X3: Boom Goes the Dynamite!

It finally arrived today.  And I bought it.  I plan to start on Monday, January 6th.  It will be discounted for the entire month of December. So if you are interested in joining me in my challenge, you have some time to get it here: CLICK ON ME FOR P90X3 DETAILS

Why do I want to try this?

1.) It is 30 minutes a day.  We own P90X, and I have watched my hubby do it and it looked so intense.  I am intimidated to start off with 45-60 minute workouts at that intensity.  30 minutes is more my speed.  I am not a big fan of strength training.  I just want to do enough to get results.  I need to max out my results in the least amount of time. And on the bright side, it is not a graduate program.  Which is good because even though we own P90X and P90X2, I can start with this one.

2.)  I must redeem myself.  I went to a live workshop with Tony Horton to try P90X3.  The workout sadly kicked my butt. This dude knows his stuff.  I was so impressed with his knowledge.  So even though he is silly with a crazy sense of humor, he means business.   I have some serious work to do.

3.) I need serious body sculpting.  Hell, I will be tickled pink to do a pull up.

Yes, one pull up.

I need upper body strength. Plus, I dont want to stop my running, swimming and biking.  I need something where I can do two disciplines in one day because I am not giving up my first loves.  Just not going to happen.

If you get these DVDs let me know.  You will get a calendar and a nutrition plan.  Some box sets come with bonus DVDs and fun extras.  Everyone that buys a DVD set in December will get a cap.

I am going to form a group so we can hold each other accountable. Plus, we will all be pioneers together.  I have never tried P90X before and I want to test it out and see if it lives up to all the hype.  We will have before and after photos.  We will be the proof to see if it really works. We will blazen the path and lead the others to glory.

Ok, so now I am getting carried away.

You get the idea.

Here is the link again:  BUY P90X3 HERE

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cold November Rain

Funny, how life can feel so crazy  that I think all I need is a full day to get caught up on life. When that day finally comes where there is nothing on the calendar, all I want to do is sit and watch the rain fall.  I have no motivation or desire to complete the tasks I need to move forward.  Why is this?

But when it gets busy again, which it will get over the holidays, I will long for another day like this.

Post Ironman reflection.  2013 was not my year for another 140.6 mile Ironman medal.

Will I try again?

Yes, but I need to take at least a year off.

2014 will only have a couple of 70.3 races in it.

So I have been doing some reflecting of where I am at and where I want to be. I have been attending quite a bit of seminars and submersing my mind in new knowledge.  I have been searching for a new direction and programming my brain with fresh thoughts and ideas.

So of course, being the visual person that I am, I found an illustration to sum up exactly where I am at on a figurative map. Here is the cycle of life, courtesy of what I have learned from Dani Johnson.


First, I had to let my previous crop die.  This precious harvest was my goal of completing an Ironman.  I accomplished what I set out for in 2012 but I did not want that glory to end in 2013.  I tried to make the crop live forever and by doing so I have felt empty and lost.  The drive that once was pushing me was gone and I was trying to force life into something that was already dead.  It took me almost the entire year to realize what I was doing.

I have finally accepted that my crop is dead.

I am now focused on selecting some new crops.  I am looking to plant 3 of them, as a matter of fact, and I am at the point of preparing the earth for planting.

I am going to focus my crops on three main areas.  Business. Wealth. Health.

Business.  I am ready to be my own boss.  Set my own hours and work from home.  I do not want to depend on a corporation to put a cap on my salary. To do this, I need to focus my time on education on some business skills.  I am giving this crop 7 years to be ready for harvest in other words, this is my longest term goal that will take the most time.

Wealth.  I no longer want to be slave to Mastercard and Visa.  I will learn how to manage what I have now So I may be entrusted with more. The crop will be ready for harvest in 2 years.

Health.  So yes, I have learned to swim and conquered 2.4 miles.  I did this 2 more times in each of the Ironmans I did not cross the finish line.  I am officially out of my comfort zone with swimming.  So what is the next thing I dislike doing?

Weight and/or Strength Training.  

I also dislike cooking.  One huge thing I learned in Ironman training is that you can workout out several hours a week....but weight does not fall off (as a woman at least) unless the diet changes too.  So the question is, can I be in the same shape I was while training for an Ironman but with less time I invested doing cardio?   Well, I will not know for sure unless I try and focus on my diet and building muscle.

I am going to be experimenting with several workout DVDs until I find something that calls to me and I want to get certified in.  It seems crazy right now to become a P90X instructor but not impossible.

My health goal will be set in shorter increments.  Every quarter I want a harvest and be prepared to plant again.  Each  quarter, I reevaluate where I am at and then up it another level.  The body must be at its optimum level in order for the other 2 harvests (goals) to come to fruition.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lake Tahoe Ironman Race Report

September 22, 2013

Since I achieved the dreaded status of DNF (Did Not Finish) of Ironman Lake Tahoe, I have not exactly been in a rush to put my experience in to words.  It has been a roller coaster of emotions since I have been back, and my saving grace has been to act like a corn ball to make other people smile.  Hearing the laughter and seeing the smiles on others helps me to stop focusing on little things like not finishing Ironman races.

The reason I signed up for this race was to see as much of the beauty of Lake Tahoe up close and personal.  I wanted to swim in water that was crystal clear and actually see the bottom.  I wanted to ride my bike surrounded by the smell of the tall pines and run to the sound of a water rushing around the rocks.  When we arrived, I was so overtaken by the beauty that the actual challenge of the course seemed irrelevant.  Somehow I was going to find a way to make it to the end.

Boy, did I ever underestimate that challenge.

I thought I was as prepared as I could be.  I ran through my list over and over.  I bought booties for the swim for standing in the cold sand.  I bought arm warmers for my sleeveless wet suit so I could have full mobility of my arms.  I borrowed wheels so I could shave a few minutes off my bike to make the cut offs.  I borrowed a climbing cassette to tackle those hills.  I had my running clothing strategy planned out complete with my little headlight for when the sun went down.  We drove the course and I attended a race strategy lecture so I could mentally prepare for any surprises on the course.  I listened to my mental training MP3s over and over so I could focus on how to overcome my nerves.  I laid everything out 2 days prior so I would not forget a single thing.


In Ironman Village

I was set.

My race plan.  I had it in my head, that if I could only get through the swim (I put the least amount of training hours in the swim), I could definitely tackle that bike and make it to the run. 

I HAD to at least get to the run because....

A.) I enjoy running in the cold and…
B.) The run course was supposed to be breathtakingly beautiful. 

I wanted to make it to that run. 

Snowing. Yup it rained and snowed the day before.  We were soggy for bike and gear drop off.  


The unofficial Ironman underwear run was in 40 degree pouring rain.  Those poor brave souls.  The only line in the sand that I had drawn was I was not going to ride if the roads were iced.  We were reassured that the race organizers were never going to let it get to a level where it was unsafe.


 

Yet, I was still uneasy.

My cutie friend Jessica and I are ready to ROLL
Race morning was 27 degrees.  It helped my nerves to focus on my transition and set up.  Luckily, they had an expo center open so we could keep warm.   

For the first time in my three Ironman races, I was not alone at the start. 

This time, my Charlie was able to be with me.  It felt amazing to have him by my side and it was an added bonus to have him help me smoosh my butt into my wet suit.

This was also my first time to be in a rolling start.  This means instead of a mass exodus of us all starting the swim at the same time, we got to seed ourselves in a corral according to pace.  I met a couple of people from Houston in my wave as well as a lone first timer.  We danced in place in the sand to keep warm to the beat of the music by the DJ.

Finally the gun went off and I was looking forward to how the lake was going to “feel like a hot tub” compared to the outside air. 

They lied about the hot tub.  It was COLD.  It took me a long while to get my breathing normal.  I had to flip on my back several times.  My favorite moment (once I could get my rhythm) was to turn my head to the side to breathe and see the snow-capped mountains turned pink with the sunrise.  It more beautiful than my dreams.



Unfortunately, the moment was short lived.  I was cold and uncomfortable and wanted to join the others around me who were grabbing on to jet skis and getting pulled to shore.  But I wanted to get to that run.  I kept swimming and somehow I made the swim cut off again with 45 seconds to spare.

I was so light-headed and numb when I climbed out of the water and into transition.  All I could do was just focus on each step to the changing tent.

I had made it.  And now I was ready for the bike.  The transition volunteers were nothing short of amazing and I was on my way with enough time to pee.  I am on the bike course and I am on cloud nine.

Until, I hit the first famous hill.  Dollar Hill.  It is a 7 percent incline.  Not the worst hill on the course, but it certainly was not "easy" by any means.

No problem, right?  I love to climb hills.  That is, until I need air.  

Yeah, I SUCKED air.  I pulled over to catch my breath.  I recovered quickly and tried again.  I did not make it very far.

The locals that I passed earlier leisurely toting around town were now passing me up the hill like it was a cake walk. 

“Where ya from?” one shouts at me as they pass.  

“Houston” I reply.

“Ah…enough said” the man retorts back.

I am now stopped for a third time gasping for breath.  This time, when I tried to get back on.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to balance.  I sat there and waited awhile for the dizziness to go away, and it was at that point I started to doubt I had what it would take to finish just one loop of that bike course. 

My view of Dollar Hill if I would have looked behind me
I had to do that Dollar Hill 3 times to finish the bike.  And I had a hill in front of me called Brockway Summit, which was a 3 mile climb (equivalent to 30 minutes  if I was lucky) to the highest point of the course 7200 feet or something like that.  I was so screwed.  I began to walk my bike and started to feel so defeated.

Of course, there is a camera man at the top of Dollar Hill while I am walking my bike, of course.
With head down and my tail tucked between my legs, I pedaled to Squaw Valley.  It had an aid station and it was also where the final loop turns off to the finish line.  When I tried to talk to the Ironman official.  I could not put sentences together.  My brain was working…but why weren’t the words coming out of my mouth in the way I wanted?  I turned in my chip and climbed inside a van to thaw out.  It was only then when I realized how numb I was.

That is when the tears came. It just hit me that I had lost the battle with Mother Nature.

In the van, a man saw me crying and asked me to roll down my window. He shared with me that he was one of the ones pulled out in the swim.  He told me there was a lesson in this experience and soon I will see it.  I was surrounded by beautiful people with the kindest words to lift my spirits.  

I felt heartbroken but somehow I knew I made the right decision.  Since I am well aware of effects of the lack of oxygen (flight attendants are thoroughly trained on how to identify oxygen deprivation during a decompression), I knew that what I was feeling was only going to get worse.  I spent the rest of that afternoon and evening feeling like I had a horrible hangover.  In retrospect, I wish I asked for oxygen.  It probably would have helped me feel better later.

And there it is. My race in a nutshell.  Really a nutshell.  It reminds me of a quote that used to hang on my friend Danielle’s wall as a kid by T.S. Eliot.

“This is the way the world ends…Not with a bang but a whimper.” 

My Lake Tahoe Ironman was pretty anti-climactic.  It is not at all how I pictured.  Of course, I played Monday morning quarterback and questioned my decision to pull out when I did but the bottom line is...  

I did not train once in altitude over 6000 feet….not on one hill (and what we call hills in Houston does not even come close).  I was not prepared physically to whoop those hills.  I took a full swing at that hill and that hill swung back so hard that it knocked me off my feet like I was a rag doll.

Ouch. Game over. Do not pass "Go" and do not collect $200.

I underestimated the power of Lake Tahoe’s beauty and it definitely put my ego in check.


Squaw Valley, also known as the finish line

But again, in the words that T.S Eliot also wrote:

“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”

Houston, I think I found my lesson.  Over.

Charlie and I in Squaw Valley before the snow



Monday, October 7, 2013

MIA

Hello, I see you. 

Yes, I need to do some major renovating.

And a tad bit of updating. 

This site is going to go under some serious construction. 

Don't stray too far...I will be posting some fresh content soon.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 10 of 50: Skin Benefits of ShakeO



I woke up this morning and did my usual routine getting ready when I noticed how clear my skin looked.  Normally I have a breakout here or there but today it was nothing.  And my makeup went on so smooth.  It would sure be nice if this was a forever change.  I will be sure to keep drinking that Shakeology!  Those vitamins and superfoods seem to be paying off in big ways. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 9 of 50: Getting Back in the Pool

Are you following a swim training plan but don't know what tools you need?  Take a peek in my bag.  I will show you what I take to the pool for every training session.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Day 6 of 50: Prepping for Bridgeland Sprint Triathlon

How do you prep for a sprint triathlon?  By following a checklist, of course.  Take a peek at how I prepare behind the scenes for my Bridgeland Triathlon tomorrow.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 5 of 50: Running Rules!

How do you get started running?  One step at a time.  Set a goal to run a 5K.  If you live in the Houston area, there is a great one directed by my friend Jessica called www.raceforthehalo.com on Oct. 26, 2013.  Support a great cause and run in one of the most beautiful parks in North East Houston at Deussen Park.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Start of a Video Journal: Focus T-25 to Ironman Lake Tahoe


So, my blogging has taken a back seat to life as I know it.  As much as I love writing, life just gets in the way.  I am going to do a combo of both video and written posts.  I will try to keep the videos short and sweet.  I would like to document my progress along the way.  I am also doing it for the accountability. As little as my training has been going...I could use any little support I can get.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1 Week Down, 19 More to Go

Wow.  I forget how tired I am during training.  I am exhausted.

I am pretty happy on how the week went.  I am going to break down my week by discipline.

Swimming.  My masters coach said I am improving already.  Sweet.  My extra practices outside of masters class are paying off.  My weakness: I am too passive with my stroke and I need to be more aggressive when I pull at the water.  I am winded faster with this new adjustment to my stroke so my swim workouts are extremely tiring right now.  I feel like a beginner swimmer all over again.

When I walked in to masters class on Thursday, the coach had a workout posted of 3450 meters.  

My jaw hit the floor. Would I seriously being doing workouts like this one day?  It just seems so surreal.  

Thankfully, she adjusted the workout for me and I completed 1900 meters.  That workout lasted forever and ever.  I also ran into my old masters coach at one one my solo workouts, and he also gave my tips and feedback on my stroke.

Best advice of the week:  all I have to do is show up and I will get better.  

Yeah, I know. Duh. But it has been the mantra to get me out of bed at 4:15am.

Total swim workouts for me: 3.5 hours/4100 Meters 

Biking. I have not been to a spin class since September.  I have not ridden a bike since August.  I have a lot of rebuilding to do.  I attended 2 spin classes and they were tough!  My legs feel like jello right now.  I did not want to go too crazy on the bike since I have a heavy weekend up ahead with Disney's Goofy Challenge.  But man, it sure felt good to get back in to class.  My legs felt alive and strong again!

Ok so now I have a confession to make.  I bought a TT bike last week.  12 days ago to be exact.  My local bike store was advertising close out models on 2012 bikes.  I had narrowed down my choices to the Cervelo P2 and the Felt B-12.  I was originally drawn to the Felt B-16 but that one was sold out.  I drove the 45 minutes to the bike store to work with a guy that I highly respect and admire for his passion and knowledge of bikes.  I trusted him and knew he would not steer me wrong. 

As soon as I got there, he put me on a Cervelo P2.  The bike fitter tells me, "hmmm...you have a LOOOONG torso and short legs".  (Wow, buddy, that's a way to win a woman over. Yes, you said that out loud.)

Cervelo has limited adjustments on their stock aerobars; therefore, they would not adjust enough to fit me properly on the bike.  (The bars only slide so far back toward the seat.)

That's no problem. I will just wait until the Felt B-12 shipment arrives.  The bike fitter tells me that the aero bars on the  Felt have the option to slide the bars forward for comfort.

Then, I am introduced to Argon-18.  At first, I was unimpressed.  I had never heard or seen that brand before and had no research to fall back on. These bikes are made in Canada and the store is no longer going to carry them.  It is on clearance.  They put the bike on the trainer and fit it for me.  It was a nice bike, but it did not knock my socks off.  I was still willing to wait for the next shipment of bikes.

Tom (my trusted bike guru) then tells me that I must go ride it around.  (Dude, it is 40 degrees outside, you want me to ride what?) I try and talk him out of it but he insists.  I put on a helmet and he proceeds to give me a mini TT skills bike clinic in the back parking lot of the store.

Now the crash course in TT bike skills was simple and short.  Figure 8 maneuvers and speed drills.  This bike could corner.  And she was fast.  And she shifted easily.  And she was fast.  Did I mention fast?

Now, this was only the 2nd time I had ever ridden a TT bike so I am not sure if that is why it felt so good (quite the upgrade from my road bike) or if this was a truly special bike.

But, I am a numbers gal...and my Dad's birthday was on the 18th.  It was the last one in the store and it was in my size.  The aero bars had even more options for adjustment than the Felt and Tom showed me some details of the aerodynamic properties that were unique only  to this bike. I could risk it and wait for the Felt B-12s to come in but once the Argon bike is sold then there would not be another one at that marked down price.

So I decided to take a leap of faith and buy the Argon 18.  Holy shiznits.  Now the weather just needs to warm up so I can take her for a time trial.



Biking totals for week 1:  2 hours/~40 miles

Running.  Ah my first love.  I ran Kingwood (Texas) half marathon on January 1st.  At the time, I was 11 days out from the Goofy Challenge. Do I go all out and run my hardest to beat my PR or do I run a smart pace and save my legs?

Well, I ended up playing it safe.  As much as I would have loved to break my own record, there is a risk involved. I started out wanting to keep up with my friends who were set to finish under 2 hours....but when their pace was under 9 minute miles out the starting chute.  I dropped back.

I was not alone for long since my sweet friend joined me on the second loop.  Our chatting and laughing made the time fly and it made for a memorable run.  I started the year on a happy note, and extremely grateful to be surrounded by beautiful running friends who are so supportive and loving.

Running totals: 3.5 Hours/20.7 miles

Week 1 totals:  9 hours (Target Goal: 6.5 Hours)

Next week I will have a race report for the Goofy Challenge.  Week 2 of IMTX training will be a shortened one with a lot of running.  Then I will be ready to scale back on the running and get up to speed on the bike (no pun intended).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Whew. 2012.  What an amazing year.  What an amazing ride. 

Let's get this party started, 2013.

My Ironman Texas training started yesterday.  I will be better about logging my progress.

The new year started out with a half marathon today in Kingwood, Texas.  It was a good solid run.  It was good for my soul and made me feel more confident about the Goofy Challenge in 11 days.  I feel ready.

I have gained some weight back since the last Ironman.  I need to get back to my racing weight and I am going to focus more on my diet earlier this year.  I have been already cutting back on the amount of high fat foods I eat so I could at least stop the damage.  I have a high body fat percentage, and I would like to get that number down.

I have finally added weight training.  I want to do a pull up without any assistance.  I need to work on my upper body strength if I am going to get faster in the pool.  I have also joined a new masters program and I am in lurve with my new gym.  I had to join because the YMCA pool is being reconstructed.  We will see how easy it will be to go back when the pool is ready. 

Okay, so I plan to write more often but the posts will be shorter. 

My 2013 Goals...13 of them

1. Get to my racing weight earlier in the season by following a diet set by a nutritionist.
2. Improve my swim speed by attending Masters class 2X a week.
3. Weight train 2X a week.
4.  Yoga or Pilates class once a week.
5. Daily Mediation
6. Less Facebook time and more blog posts.
7. Declutter and reduce posessions every weekend.
8.  Pay off half our credit card debt.
9. Improve my IMTX time.  Finish the IMLT by the cut-off.
10. Run 1000 miles in 2013
11. Do a monthly challenge every month.  (January is run 1 mile a day.)
12.  Learn to cook at home. 
13.  Plan my meals every week (less eating out).