Thursday, July 31, 2008

You can get there... if you are willing to do the work.

One year ago, I was a different woman. My body was weak, I had no stamina and I was very uncomfortable in my skin.
What I now have come to realize is life is a journey of learning to love yourself first and then extending that love to others.
So I did just that - I started loving myself more. I started eating healthy and set fitness goals for myself. I knew that my goals had to be challenging in order to be fulfilling. One day I saw Coach Michael in front of the ProClub advertising the triathletes club - the rest is history. It was like the universe knew what I needed and provided it to me. Triathlon? I can't swim to save my life, I don't run nor do I cycle. Something inside convinced me to do it. Six months later, at the lowest weight I have ever been since I can remember, I can comfortably swim a mile, cycle at high speeds and run miles! And what I know for sure is this: whatever your goals are, you can get there if you are willing to do the work. Once you have decide what you want, make a commitment and watch life begin to move forward.

I'm running now!

My knees were feeling pretty good last night so I made the decision to run in boot camp. And guess what? We ran almost 4 miles and I was the fastest chick. Yeah! I was so happy after that run. The first couple miles was tough since I had not run in 3 months. I iced immediately when I got back to the club and aside from very minor achy-ness, they were feeling pretty good. I also swam this morning and I didn't modify the workout (use the pull buoy). We did 3 x 200, 3 x 250 then 1 x 500 today. Coach Michael said I didn't need to use any fins, which is awesome. Now if I can only get my butt into the lake.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Federal Escape

There is a race this weekend and I really want to do it. But I'm not sure I should because my knees are still not healed yet. The swim is only 1/4 mile, bike 12 miles and the run is 3 miles. Man that's a really short bike. Should I go for it? Thoughts? If I reinjure myself even more than I risk the Danskin which is the race I am looking most forward to doing. I can always WOG (walk-jog) the run portion worst case right?

Toughen up, buttercup!

One thing that you immediately realize when you become a triathlete is how to overcome your fears and insecurities. Don't complain, just close your eyes and dive in - literally! Last week Coach Michael taught us how to dive entry into the water off the diving blocks. On one of my dives I didn't tuck my head up properly and got a bit of whip-lash. Now my neck has been sore the past few days and I've been losing sleep because of it. This caused me to sleep in and miss my swim class this morning...pooh. A couple of days ago on a bike ride, Jared was trying to get me to use my drop bars but I was worried that I was going to loose control of my bike.

A part of me was like, "Angela, just suck it up and do it." Anyways, I've decided to swim at my own pace after work tonight instead.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Preventing running injuries with weight loss?

I want to test out this idea that was mentioned by my PT - former USA Olympic trials marathoner. She keeps her weight low to prevent running injuries. It should come to no surprise, but the less you weigh the better it is on your joints while running. The force of each footstep is up to 4 times greater than the runner's body weight. For a 100-pound person, that means as much as 400 pounds of pressure per footstep every time the foot strikes the ground. For a 200 pound person that's 800 pounds!

With my super pronated feet and whinny knees losing weight might make a difference. Just losing 5 pounds means 20 pounds less pressure everytime my foot strikes the ground! Yes, I have already gone to the podiatrist for custom orthodics insoles and I have proper shoes. I'm not very tall (5 2") so a weight in the sub 100s is still considered in the healthy range for me. So I'm going to try to lose 1 pound a week up until the Danskin which is in 4+ weeks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brick time

The Danskin is just around the corner - 5 weeks to be exact. I have to force myself to put in more open water time. My knees have been getting better, which is good because I have been swimming with a pull buoy for the last 2 months. Today after my bike ride, I went for a swim at the ProClub. I was worried that my cardiovascular abilities would not be so good in the water, but to my surprise I was able to swim my workout set. I will be increasing my distance - I believe the Danskin has a half mile swim.

This weekend I put in about 50 miles on my bike. I looped around Lake Sammamish a little more than 2 times. Around here bikers are quite friendly as they would always wave as they pass by. On Saturday, I flatted and attempted to fix it when I realized that I didn't have my C02 cartridge adapter. Luckily some nice guys stopped to inflate my tire.

Finally, I feel like I am getting a lot stronger on the bike. I may pass a few casual riders once in a while - just not those dudes with their fancy matching bike outfits and disk wheels. My Fuji bike is so sweet - worth every penny. Every time one of those dudes race by me, they say "Hey that's a nice bike you got there!" Is it just me, or do guys look really cute in biking uniforms?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The truth behind my addiction

So I exercise almost every day and sometimes even twice a day. Is this abnormal? There's not doubt that I'm doing very good things for my health. And still on the few days I take off, I feel guilty for not doing something active. We all handle stress differently. When I'm stressed I workout - this keeps me happy.

In my college years I was out of shape and not comfortable in my own skin. While I am in way better shape now than I was back then, my brain has not caught up with my body. My body is much stronger and fitter now than it has ever been, but my subconscious doesn't believe it. Thus, often I find myself not believing in my abilities. For example, not believing that I am a good enough swimmer, or biker or runner. So I compensate and work even harder. Fortunately, my consciousness understands that with time I will get there.

Anyways, so I decided to pick up piano again to find other ways to destress. I'm going to take a few hours to learn how to play a song from the movie "Amelie" by Yann Tiersen (up on my playlist). Enjoy!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Results don't tell the whole story

I was watching a friend finish her first half iron man not too long ago, as she crossed the finish line, I heard someone say, "Man, if I took 7 hours to complete a half, I would be so disappointed."

This comment didn't sit too well with me. While it is important for everyone to have a healthy amount of ego, this was pushing it a little too far for me. I really feel that the results of others aren't any business of ours. We all race for our own reasons, some to win, some to place top 10% and for the majority just to complete the race is already a wonderful accomplishment.

What I know for sure is that results hardly ever paint the full picture. Rather, it is the battles that you have fought that got you there - the journey taken that counts.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Where there is a will, there is a way

I took this opportunity to head up to Lake Stevens to cheer on my team as they raced Ironman 70.3. This is a world qualifer for the 70.3 World Championships in Florida. So there were quite a few Pros that made a show and it was really exciting to watch them race.

At the race I was introduced to Mark and Joseph. They are on my team and guess what - one of them is blind. So how does a blind man do a half Ironman? Well, he had a partner that raced with him for the entire time. For the 1.2 mile swim he was roped to his partner, for the 56 mile bike they had a tandem bicycle, and for the half marathon run they were tethered with a rope so that he could follow. Talk about overcoming obstacles! I am so inspired. It took them over 7 hours to complete the race. What an accomplishment!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Criticism can be a good thing

I have never been one to say that I am naturally athletically gifted. But I do believe that practice makes perfect. And when you are pint size like me, it is really important to focus on the fundamentals to compensate for the things I wasn't genetically predisposed of. I had a bike ride with a coach one morning and she rode me pretty hard. I was changing gears all wrong, my standing climb had poor form and I was riding all over the place.

What I have come to understand is, constructive criticism can be a really positive thing. Because when you are screwing up and no one is telling you it is not a place you want to be in. It means that they have given up on you. In some way, at least your critics still care about you.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Le Tour de France

Wimbledon finals and le Tour de France this weekend! I will be glued to my flat screen whenever I can - lots of parties this weekend! Bicycle racing is a remarkable team event with each rider having a different role to play. My manager loves cycling and we spend a lot of time talking about it.

The 95th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,500 kilometres. The longest stage is 210 miles through the Alps!

These 21 stages have the following profiles:

10 flat stages,
5 mountain stages,
4 medium mountain stages,
2 individual time-trial stages.
Distinctive aspects of the race

4 mountain finishes,
2 rest days,
82 kilometres of individual time-trials,
17 Category 1, Category 2 and highest level passes will be climbed.

Highlights from Versus:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

JFT uniforms

I just ordered my JFT team uniform. I can't wait, I feel faster already! Here is a picture of Jill with the team uniform on. It looks so cool, I'm excited!