Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's time to juice (not really but that sounds so exciting and dramatic doesn't it?)

In my last blog I may have casually mentioned I was slightly irritated that I'm exercising quite a bit but I'm not getting in to better shape. I've come to realize that I'm left with two options. I can either work harder or find a short cut. I think we both know where this is going......

I'm going to stop you right there. I realize that there is a third option. I can almost hear you all chanting "how's your diet?, how's your diet?, how's your diet?" It's shit okay. My diet is shit. But I'm not ready for that kind of commitment just yet. Right now I'm still courting a healthy diet. I'm taking a healthy diet out a few times a month. I find myself smiling when I think about a healthy diet and I together on a beach somewhere. I may have had a few questionable dreams that I don't feel comfortable discussing about a healthy diet. But I'm not ready to take it any further. I just lost Two-a-day naps, I can't lose donuts right now. I'm not ready.

Look at that. That looks sooooo good. I now want a donut so bad I would gut kick an elderly person and rip it out of their hands and then I would ride in to the sunset on their rascal. Speaking of rascals my grandmas rascal is missing if anyone has seen an abandoned rascal in the West Valley area please leave a comment so we can get that old broad her wheels back. (million bucks says I get a dozen texts or phone calls informing me that I'm an insensitive asshole before sundown. Don't bother mom I already know!)

Where were we.....right. With diet off the table I have two options, work harder or find a short cut. I know the value of hard work and I'm committed to making a positive change for the better. So short cut it is!!

Steroids right? Am I right? NO. We don't even know where to buy those and the last time I whispered something to a meat head in the gym I almost lost an arm. Apparently there are certain words that trigger a hulk like response in those who "roid" it up regularly. Any words actually. Any words at all will create a situation. Stick with grunts and avoid eye contact.

Back to my short cut. my biggest issue right now is I'm always out of breath. During the swim, during the bike, during the run. I can't f@$%ing breathe man! I do have asthma and that might be the cause of my problem but let's not focus on that tiny detail. Let's pretend there is a solution. It keeps me busy. I have a prescription I used to take that helped my body by delaying an asthma attack and I suppose I could just start taking that again BUT the side effects are horrible, one of which is weight gain. Are we solving problems or are we multiplying them ladies and gentleman? Plus it gives me horrible headaches and the shakes. Who can work out when they feel like they are having tiny epileptic fits? Not me.

So I did a little research (that what I say when I google something, it sounds so scientificy and time consuming and I bet you imagine me doing it in glasses. I do) and I came across a few supplements that may be the answer to my little respiratory issue.

Rhodiola - Himalayan root used by the Sherpa people to “adapt” to the stress of living and working at high altitudes. Sherpa climbers chew on rhodiola for an energy and endurance boost when helping mountaineers scale Mt. Everest. One mechanism for rhodiola’s anti-fatigue effects is an enhancement of oxygen efficiency. 
Umm Yeah. I can picture myself popping one in the mouth and then casually mentioning its an ancient secret for scaling everest. How cool is that? (Please let there be a pill I can swallow, in my experience root always tastes like ass)
Cordyceps - Tibetan mushroom used for “lung protection” and to balance the “Qi” – the fundamental “energy of life.” In clinical studies, cordyceps results in significant improvements in fatigue, oxygen uptake, and endurance exercise performance.
This is great because I was telling a friend just the other day how out of whack my Qi has been since the inversion. Like my grampy used to say "You have to go all Tibetan on it if you want results." 
I'm a liar. My grandfather has never been referred to as grampy and I am fairly certain he has never said you have to go all Tibetan if you want results. Then again..... I wasn't there on the wedding night so maybe he did. 
Eurycoma - Malaysian ginseng. Eurycoma contains a group of small peptides that are effective in restoring the balance between the catabolic hormone cortisol and the anabolic hormone testosterone.
I blame everything on cortisol. Cortisol is a real asshole. 
That's the new plan. I don't know where to get any of these things, or how to take them, or if they are legal. But I'm going to do a little more research (googling) and then hopefully take them out for a test drive. Perhaps my next blog will be a plea for fire retardant running pants because of the time my crazy fast running created so much friction in the thigh area I lit myself on fire. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guess what? I'm no Jane Fonda and now he has buns of steel

May 28th already. Where does the time go? It was two months ago that I was going to go on a fantastically ridiculous diet of all meat and I decided to become a triathlete. How's it going you ask?
  • Diet - I now eat nothing but meat and vegetables. and fruit. with dairy. and a lot of grain. a dash of fats and oils...... and an abundance of refined sugar. To summarize, there is some room to improve. Also I have completely abandoned the Paleo diet in favor of realistic goals. and donuts.
  • Triathlete in the making - this is a much longer story.

In the beginning I trained alone. I did not improve in any way whatsoever. BUT I got started which can sometimes be the biggest obstacle.Then something that would change everything happened. I'd been lovingly harassing my boyfriend about going to the gym with me and he finally agreed. Surprisingly after just one trip to the gym he thought we should run a 5k. We did, and I didn't totally suck! He ran with me the entire time and it was very sweet of him because it was pretty clear that he could have ran a lot faster. I was excited. He seemed really committed to working out together and I really needed the motivation to push myself harder and set my goals higher and that is so much easier to do with a partner.

What I didn't realize at the time, 
was I had just released the Kracken. 

Somewhere between the starting line and the finish line something changed for him. He went from supporting my silly desire to finish a triathlon (in the same way you support your five year old sons dream to slay a dragon), to THERE IS NOTHING ON THIS EARTH THAT CAN PREVENT US FROM BEING THE BEST TRIATHLETES THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN. It was subtle. Hardly noticeable at all really unless you caught the little demons that were dancing amid a forest of flames where his pupils should have been.

That week we equipped ourselves, race bikes, trisuits, swim caps, goggles, helmets, padded shorts, gym bags, CO2 cans, magical jelly beans and then after only one actual training session. We did our first Triathlon. I wrote about this experience in more detail in my previous blog. What I didn't mention was the fever that has taken hold of us(him). Since I awakened this competitive beast that lives with in him we have done one sometimes two races per week. Amazingly we have done a little better each time, which is really not all that surprising. As a coach he is sort of terrifying and magnificent. Having been a Marine for 10 years he has this special way of not accepting words like "I can't" or "my legs have gone numb" or "please can I use my inhaler" you know, sissy stuff.

He has been cracking the proverbial whip...... (he refuses to use an actual whip though I have suggested it numerous times and made a well thought out list of reasons that incorporating a whip in at least one of our activities would be very exciting) ........and it has driven me to exceed my own expectations. The Woman of Steel has come and gone almost without fanfare. I DID AWESOME! It's now just a baby step though.

Joking aside, this has been such a wonderful way to begin my summer. I started on this path only thinking of myself and now I've had the pleasure of watching him come to life. Somehow his accomplishments have been just as, if not more, exhilarating than my own. The reward we have found from encouraging each other and watching each other succeed has led us to join a group whose sole purpose is to encourage others to rediscover their greatness.  Look them up

It was all fun and games and unicorns with speech impediments until....

Does someone want to explain to me how we have both followed the exact same training plan and he has transformed in to this hot young thing with a rock hard body and I have gained weight and my body fat percentage has actually increased? He now has abs. I have a smaller chest and a larger ass. Let me give you a visual.

he is going in this direction

I am headed in this one

I am not in any way degrading this woman I am sure she is a lovely person. I am merely demonstrating that my transformation doesn't exactly match what I originally visualized. And I have gotten shorter. I'm not kidding I really thinking I'm shorter and my feet are bigger. Can that even happen? Yes it can, because it has. I'm defying the laws of science ladies and gentleman. If I start turning purple will someone please have them roll me back into the boat and take me down to the juicing room at once?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ready.....Set.......Swim! Or spazz whatever.

I don't know about you but when I was a kid I spent my summers at the pool. I love swimming. I could swim for hours and never grow tired of it. Or so I thought. Years later, I discovered that I had never actually been swimming per se. I had been in a pool. You can't call what I did for hours and hours swimming. Swimming is grace and form and power. We were trapping air in our swim suits to make it look like fart bubbles escaped. Both require talent, but they are not the same thing.

So I went to the pool. I have seen swimming on tv I just needed to mimic what I had seen right? Umm nope. There is techniques you have to master and it turns out that being a complete and total spazz is not conducive to hydrodynamics. I learned that big word after I watched a ton of videos on you tube. 

After watching more 5 minute swimming videos than I care to count, I can tell you what I learned from both of them. I'm doing it wrong.

Proper Form

This is me with my legs and arms at impossible angels and my hair all over the place
I was worried about the triathlon before. Now I'm in a full on panic. I can't even swim 25 meters with out popping out of the water. And he's always there. The lifeguard, ready to throw a flotation device at my head and blow his whistle in a panic. I know he's faced with a difficult decision. I'm clearly not safe in a pool, but I'm fun to look at in a swim suit. He watches me. I can't tell if he's fixated on my boobies or if he's wondering why both knees come out of the water during my freestyle? .... cause it's freestyle BOY!

I've identified my biggest problems. My lower body sinks, my head lifts, and I can't breathe rhythmically. Essentially I can do none of the things required to swim. That's a pretty big problem. I don't have a lot of time for the obvious and reasonable solutions. With only a few weeks until the big triathlon I did what only I would do in this position. I signed up for another triathlon. This one is tomorrow. That's right it's called the Spring Sprint and it's held at an Olympic venue. The swim is harder, the bike is harder, the run is the same. only harder.

Here's my logic. Have you ever tried to give a cat a bath? They thrash, they claw, they flip around while screaming and it takes at least 5 minutes of total submersion before they suddenly relax. Seems daunting, but if you fight a badger first, well then the cat bath seems like childs play right?

For me, the Women of Steel Triathlon is my cat bath. The Spring Sprint was my badger.


It is done. I forgot to post this blog last week. The First Tri is now over and here's how that went -

Spring Sprint Recap:
Before the race I saw an elderly overweight woman and I said to myself no matter what happens I'm going to beat her.
On the swim (400 meters, it took me 15 minutes 52 seconds) a special needs girls with a snorkel passed me on the third lap. It was a little embarrassing but not as embarrassing as trying to throw a little water in her snorkel out of spite. Don't get all enraged I couldn't catch up to her so nobody got drowned.
On the bike (12.4 miles, it took me 1 hour 1 minute and 54 seconds) I quickly realized that I was in the seventh circle of hell. I was dripping wet from the pool, which is miserable with all the dirt and debri swirling around. I was in an industrial area of western Utah which means at times semi trucks were flying past me only a foot to my left. More importantly this eye sore of a location was also a portal into a world that defied physics. What goes up must come down? Right? Wrong! Not in Kearns Utah. The hills. The many many awful hills. I could literally walk faster than I was peddling up the steep incline. When I got to the top of one hill all I could see was........ the horrid realization that this was not the top of a hill but the bottom of the next. I've read about Sisyphus but this was the first time I actually appreciated his plight.
On the run (3.1 miles, it took me 42 minutes and 54 seconds) don't mock me. This is a pretty pathetic amount of time BUT after those hills your legs are numb. I have no shame in admitting I did not run. Like a belligerent child I took my time and thought about what I had done to bring about this strange and completely unnecessary course of events.
The finish line. Wow. That's what its all about. The swim, the bike, the run were all beyond what I believed myself to be capable of. It's two hours of persevering through your own fear and doubt. And then you cross the finish line and it's the most amazing feeling. It no longer mattered how long it took or where I ranked. I F&%$#ing finished!!!! until I found out that fat old tart from the beginning totally kicked my ass. That stung a little.

I fought my badger. Feels good. Now bring me a dirty cat. It's bath time.