Sunday, March 6, 2011

From IronGirl to IronMom

So I am sure many of you have noticed that its been a long while since I've posted, and that my "training" seems to have trailed off significantly in recent months.  I suppose it is time to let you know that I will not be completing my first Ironman in May.  I will instead be taking an another role in my already over-labeled life, Mom!  I am about thirteen weeks pregnant with our first baby, and I am so excited about the challenges ahead.  So far, it has been a most eye opening and not always pleasant experience.  While seeing my baby for the first time was one of the greatest moments of my life, I cannot say that the months of nausea, fatigue, and piling on the pounds despite being careful about diet and exercise have been much fun!  Today, there is not a single part of my body that in any way resembles iron, but c'est la vie.

We will welcome IronBaby Stark in September of this year.  While we don't yet know the sex, I think we can be sure he or she will be an exceptional athlete, musically gifted, and astonishingly intelligent.  How could (s)he not be given that (s)he was conceived while I was training for an Ironman??  I'm still running and will continue to do so until I can no longer waddle around.  The biking has had to go on hiatus because as you all know, I am terrified of falling and much too clumsy to be trusted on my bike whose tires are about an inch thick.  I haven't been swimming because I just can't face the sight of myself in a swimsuit, but I pledge to get back to the pool very soon.  I am hopeful that when my bump begins to resemble a baby instead of 20 pounds of flab, I will get some confidence back!

As I am sure I will have plenty of baby weight to lose, I still have Ironman in my sights.  My 30th year will continue until June 2012, so I promise you all and myself that I will carry the Ironman moniker by the end of my 30th year here on earth!  Perhaps it will be Texas Ironman next May, or Brasil, China, France, or Couer D'Alene.  Time will tell!  In the meantime, I hope to continue this blog to keep you updated on my pregnancy and all the other crazy things I put myself through in life!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

There is no justice in the world

Its about to happen again, regardless of the extreme lengths I have gone to to avoid it, no matter how sore my calves are, how many huge, painful, purple blisters I have on the bottoms of my feet, I clearly will never avoid the inevitable...


Why oh why??  How oh how?  I give up!  I'm going shoe shopping this weekend!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Holy BPMs Batman!

So this weekend basically fit the definition of weekend warrior, with one exception, I mostly battled against a migraine!  At 3:30 on Friday, I was hit with the dreaded headache.  I was able to get in under control by late Friday night, and decided to try to salvage some kind of workout, so I did the 30 Day Shred DVD from Jillian Michaels...BIG MISTAKE!  I was so sore the next day that it really hindered my performance for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning I woke up with the same headache and lots of schoolwork to do.  I was determined to train despite the aches, and so I went to the gym for a single-leg drill session.  The bike went well, however by the end of the hour, I was in intense pain (both from my headache and my soreness), so the swim didn't happen.

Sunday, my headache was back with a vengeance, so I decided to go ahead and take some more medicine.  I tend to take decongestant because it opens my blood vessels and is usually the only thing that helps.  I then took Charlie out for our run, and according to my HRM, my heart rate got up to about 205 beats per minute!  I felt fine, but was a bit worried about such a high heart definitely led to a great calorie burn.  I'm sure the decongestant led to the racing heart.

Another lesson learned on my run is that the world's clumsiest person (yours truly) should really not try to be an athlete.  I hit an uneven part of concrete, and hit the ground.  My sunglasses flew off and I dropped Charlie's leash.  I have to give it to my sweet and caring husband that we didn't even laugh, although I'm sure I looked pretty hilarious trying to keep myself upright.  In the end, I failed to keep myself standing, but emerged injury free!

The cycle on Sunday was good, except I was completely exhausted and ended up cutting my distance in half.  I also learned that my bike computer might be fast, meaning I've been riding shorter distances at a slower pace than I thought...that's unfortunate!  Jeff's going to try and fix it for me so I can see how slow I really am.  I am hoping for a 20 MPH average on the bike, so it looks like I've got some more training to do!

I will be traveling a bit more this week, so wish me luck!

Here's this week's schedule:
Monday: 2500 meter swim, weights
Tuesday: 60 min bike, 1200 swim
Wednesday: 6 Mile Run
Thursday: 50 mile bike
Friday: 12100 meter swim, 45 min bike
Saturday: 5 mile tempo run, 30 min bike, weights
Sunday: off

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back with a Vengence

Hi followers,
So sorry its been a while since I posted.  Life has been CRAZY!  I think that things are finally coming to a point where I can breathe a bit.  I just got home from vacation, and with less than a month until my next race, I will be training full force.  The past month has been a bit slow on the workout front, but I still have all my confidence (it might be false confidence, but its still there nonetheless).  Tonight its a 5 mile run and 2000 meter swim along with some weight training!  I'll let you know how it goes.

Here's the rest of the week's schedule:

Friday: 20 mile bike, 1000 meter swim
Saturday: 40 mile ride, 1000 meter swim
Sunday: 15 mile bike, 4 mile run

Hope to come back with a good report for you all soon!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A not so hot week

So after the blackhole weekend, the training dearth continued.  Last week was one of the busiest work weeks I can remember, and the next two are not going to be much better.  I also started classes again Wednesday, so that will add to the pressure.  I recently read about a study where one group of subjects were asked to resist cookies and the other were allowed to eat the cookies.  They were then asked to participate in an impossible to solve puzzle.  Those who resisted the cookies gave up much sooner than those who did not.  The conclusion of the study was that we have a limited amount of self-control and we can actually run out!  This made perfect sense to me because anytime I've been very good on a diet, I end up shopping too much.  So, I need to find some way to indulge (and one that's not going to derail my progress or drain my bank account) so I have the motivation to keep going!

I am officially signed up for my first training race, The US Open Olympic Triathlon in Dallas on October 10th!  I'm going for a 3 hour finish, so this month's training is essential. Here's the schedule for this week and it HAS to happen, so no tempting me to go out to dinner with you, and no emailing me after hours!

Sunday: 2000 Meter Swim, 4 Mile Run
Monday: 2 Hour training ride indoors (speed and individual leg work), Weights
Tuesday: 40 Minute ride, 40 minute swim  (speed work)
Wednesday: 50 Minute Run, 40 Minute Ride, Weights
Thursday: 200 Meter Swim, Weights
Friday: Off
Saturday: 60 Mile ride

I will try to post these on Daily Mile as I go so my Widget stays up-to-date.  I have fresh determination this week, so LET'S DO IT!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blackhole Weekend

So this weekend's training, not so much!  We went to San Antonio for a little mini-vacation.  Spent Saturday and Sunday at Fiesta Texas and Sea World, so I did a lot of walking...that will make me an ironman right?  Not likely!  In the end, I took a few days off from training, but got back into the saddle (literally) yesterday with a solid 16 mile ride and 4 mile run.  I actually felt great after the break so I didn't lose too much momentum.  This week's schedule is pretty similar to last week's as far as training.  Wednesday is a swim/bike, Thursday is a swim/run, Friday I am going to do a 2 hour ride/easy swim, then shoot for 50 mile bike on Saturday.  Sunday is a bike/long run. 

One thing I haven't been able to incorporate consistently thus far is my strength training so that's my goal for this week.  I need to get at least 3 days of strength training a week especially during this base-building phase.  I'm too addicted to high impact exercise in general, so I tend to avoid lifting...all the standing around really bugs me.  I end up doing jumping jacks or jump squats in between sets, and all the big beefy guys look at me like I'm insane.  Of course most of them couldn't even do a jumping jack because they avoid cardio like the plague!  As my brilliant  nephew once pointed out after seeing a body builder at the gym, "When you're really strong, you walk funny!"

So here's to the rest of this week building basal cardio fitness and strength!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Becoming the master of my fears (aerobars)

This weekend was one of the best rides I've ever had, and quite an enlightening experience.

About a year ago, I had my bike fitted with aerobars.  Using the bars gives you a good posture break, forces you to engage your glutes more while cycling, and makes you more aerodynamic.  For the past year, I have been too chicken to ride for more than 10 seconds on the bars.  When you get down there, you feel every little breeze, bump, and wiggle, and its harder to stay in control of the bike.  Most of you know that I am extremely clumsy, and one of my biggest fears has been wiping out on my bike.  So, Saturday I set out for a long, flat ride and was determined to conquer my fears and go aero.

Here's the thing, it was so simple.  I put one hand down, then the other, and rode to my heart's content!  I averaged 20 mph the whole ride and was much more comfortable and confident than ever before.  I learned once again that the fear was all in my head.  I had spent over a year feeling too nervous and scared to just take "the leap."  Its almost funny to think of something as small as changing bike positions, but its so true of so many things we don't do because we are afraid.  So what's the worst that can happen?  I crashed!

At the very end of the ride, I overshot a curve, went off the trail and crashed.  I got some good road rash and a sore shoulder, but I'm fine, and suddenly I'm not afraid anymore!  The most empowering thing about being an athlete is the knowledge that you have control over your body.  Its the confidence that comes with knowing you can push through pain, that you have the strength to endure.  But its also being able to mentally overcome your fears, your past, who you think you are.

I have labeled myself as uncoordinated and clumsy, so I've always feared riding fast, going aero, crashing, but today I know that I'm more than those things.  I have gained a few extra ounces of mental muscle that I know will be essential when the gun goes off in May and I become an Ironman!