Monday, December 5, 2011
Lately I've been having incredible opportunities, wonderful experiences and fun surprises popping up all over the place.
I have gotten the opportunity to run two 5ks this month.
The first one I did, I was shocked to find my time had dropped 4 minutes from last years same race!
I have come a long way as far as fitness over the last couple of years. 5 years ago I was in the worst shape of my life. After breaking my foot in 4 peices and dealing with a prolongued wrist injury, I was barely exercising and within a 6 month period, i gained 20lbs. I am now 15 lbs down from that time period, but my body has also changed. I am no longer the gymnast struggling to get thinner. I am now focused on good health as well as increasing muscle mass.
1 year ago I decided I needed to make a change in diet because I could not lose the excess weight. I stopped eating meat for about a year and a 1/2. 6 months after that I had lost about 10lbs., was once again training in gymnastics and was overall-healthy. 6 months later I chose to be done with my career as a gymnast and quickly put the 10lbs back on.
Over the past few months, the weight has slowly started to come off, although I was struggling with severe fatigue and an inability to work at my top capacity. About a month ago I finally got tested and found out I have an intolerance to gluten. Since then I have stopped eating bread, rice, potatoe and gluten. I also took sugar out of my diet as well as lowered my caffeine and dairy intake. I then started eating white meats and fish for increased protein. Within the first week, my energy level increased massively and I've been able to work out harder than I have in years! Likewise, my body has changed and toned up considerably! Mentally I feel much better as well. :)
I was so excited this year to know some people who were racing. I already knew Darlene was coming since that was part of our plan since training together; but we were both excited and surprised to see our cycling friend, Tita! Others were also there that we knew. Speedy Kate was there but not racing. I saw a couple of gymnasts I used to train. One whose family is hardcore into exercise, so she and her family did the race. The other girl was just there to watch I think.
At the start of the race, Darlene-as expected-took off. Fine by me. :) Tita was behind me.
At the first mile mark of today's race, I saw my time. 7:41. Woooah! The last time I had a time that low on a mile was when I was in 7th grade! And that was running a hard 1 mile run back then. I was pacing myself today and so I almost couldn't believe the time...!
On Mile 2, I was at 16 min. or so.
By that time I was starting to feel blah. My stomach wasn't feeling too good prior to the race and I've worked out so hard this week already that I knew right at the beginning of the race that I needed to really pace myself because my body wasn't feeling fantastic.
Nearing the finish I was not going to push it...Until Darlene started yelling at me to go harder. And so somehow, I sprinted the last bit... I was surprised I could go that hard at the end.
The second race I did, I managed to have been party-ing til 3am the night before and had thus only gotten about 4 hours of sleep. I almost skipped out on it but decided last minute to pursue the opportunity. My time was about the same as the last race-24 minutes and 30+ seconds. This time, there were even more people I recognized. I had a friend who had texted me prior to the race complaining about the fact that he wanted to go for a run. I invited him to join in on the 5k. He was at the finish line-cheering me on as I came in. He swears he is out of shape yet his time was like 20 minutes! He is, however, just insane. There were a couple of other people I knew from school-Chris and Chelsea, they are brother and sister. It was nice to see a couple of faces I hadn't seen since high school. Tita and Darlene were both there as well. Darlene's time was 22 minutes or so. At 54, she is an incredible runner! Tita's time was faster than mine but only by a few seconds. ;)
I was also surprised to find that I had placed first in both events for my age group. The first race there were only 2 of us, but for the second one there were 6 people. :) Since running isn't exactly what I'd consider a strength, I was excited to find these results.
Since that time I now have a part time job as a barista, will be going to school in January, have been asked to become someone's personal trainer and have been offered the chance to teach crossfit or other exercise classes in a gym setting. Life keeps getting better. :)
Merry Christmas my tri-friends, fellow runners and exercise-aholics.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
2 months ago-October 2011-I joined a friend for a class called crossfit. Over the coarse of my life I had tried many exercise classes and sports. Spinning classes, ab classes, dance classes, RIPPED and other various aerobic and anaerobic activities. I assumed this one would be similar. A series of exercises that were hard but nothing compared to the effort and struggle that it took to train in the sport of gymnastics. I was wrong...
Most of the ones I do are done with a technic that makes them easier-called a kip-up. A form of swinging that, in gymnastics, is called cheating...
"Shit," was the most prominant word/thought coming to mind.
After one of the work outs, one of the instructors asked how I liked Xfit. I told him how much I loved it. We began talking about the process of getting certified. 1 week later, I am registered to get certified in January 2012. I have been studying more and more since then. The more I find out about this sport the more I have fallen in love with it.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I have always done anaerobic exercise my whole life...Until this year.
I was a gymnast, almost from birth.
I once took a friend, who was also a gymnast, out for a short run.
Midway through the run, I could hear him huffing and puffing. He managed to call out to me, "there is a reason I picked gymnastics, as my sport of choice and not running..."
It's true. Gymnasts are taught to be fast for very short periods of time. We put all of our energy into skills or routines that last between 2 seconds and 2 minutes...Not 45 minutes to 2 hours...
Today was chaos.
Beginning with volunteering at my church as a barista & to staying for my service.
Plus, removing gluten, sugar, caffeine and most dairy from my diet has been difficult because I get hungry every few hours, so the egg and apple I had for breakfast at 8am did nothing for me by noon. I had to drive all the way home (stopping for gas on the way) to go make a big lunch before heading out to Darlene's place for a work out-my 7th day in a row! I was somehow supposed to prepare a meal, change and take care of the cats all before 1:30. It was already 12:55 by the time I had made my way to my house.
45 minutes later I had made it back out.
The temperature on my car thermometer read: 61 degrees.
I was surprised at how warm it was but was quickly thinking about other things.
I arrived at Darlene's house and played with her animals as she finished some work.
Then she asked me what I wanted to do that day.
"We could do an insanity DVD or we could go out for a run."
I had been pestering her about doing one for the past couple of months but simultanously, I think I was dreading it. So it shouldn't have surprised me that I picked running over the dvd but what was I thinking?!
A few quick facts about Darlene before I continue.
She is a hardcore trail runner.
One of the fastest runners of her age group, at least in the town I live in.
Her competitor is ironman triathlete/marathoner-Kate.
And I had never seen nor joined either of these women for a run.
So when I stepped out into the comfortable temperature and began ascending the trail, I knew I was in trouble. I knew I was in trouble within the first 30 seconds.
Maybe it was because I never begin running with running, I always begin with a walking warm up.
Maybe it was from the drastic change of diet over the past few days.
Maybe it was from working out HARD all week long prior to today.
Or maybe it was just because I DON'T RUN!
Not that I dislike it, even if I do dislike it, I wont admit to disliking it.
I hadn't been running much for the past 6 months though.
Most of my cardio came from aerobic classes, cycling/spinning or crossfit-NOT RUNNING.
Darlene already knew where she was going. She'd obviously been running these trails for a long time and had a route planned out. The information she gave me was that it was shorter, but harder. Shorter equaled good. Harder was Bad...
I was already huffing and puffing on leveled ground.
We were running up and down little hills that felt like hell to my butt and my heart. I was breathing hard...
Meanwhile, I was trying to take in the view around me but failing miserably due to the fact that one mis-step may lead to tripping over a rock and killing myself. Plus, I had to put a lot of energy to just keeping up with Darlene.
As we began descending, I struggled even more to keep up with her. Darlene pranced like a deer back and forth between the rocks. Avoiding them easily and seeming to sped up everytime more effort was taken to avoiding the terrain.
I couldn't believe how fast she was and I don't think she was going at her top speed either.
I also avoided conversation, I can't talk when I run. She, like other runners I'd met, was able to have light conversation as we ran. My replies were short, one-worded answers.
We finally arrived to the bottom where she pointed out a tree and informed me, "this is the stretching tree."
Thank you GOD!!!!
The rest was much appreciated and much needed! But it didn't last long...
"Now we go back the same way, which is going to be a lot harder since most of it is uphill." She informed me airily.
No comment was or is necessary.
It was just as awful going back as it had been coming down. I guess that was what was expected, but I was hoping that my body might've gotten over the shock. It's been known to do that, to finally just become numb or eventually stop feeling the initial shock. Unfortuantly, that was not the case today. Instead I simply could hear myself sucking breath in and 0ut like a fat person!
I wanted desperately to stop and walk. If I had been by myself I would've done that long ago! Darlene pushed me on! I couldn't let her see me slow down.
She managed to glance back at me and instead she stopped. I was again thankful for the rest break. She, in turn took my arms and told me to keep them in since apparently they were flopping around like a rag doll. She grabbed my hands, telling me to keep my fists unclenched and my shoulders relaxed. Then just as quickly she was bounding away, up the hill. I followed at an even pace as she sprinted up. She finally slowed down at the top and together we walked the last 3 or so minutes to the car.
And in that short period of time, who would show up but the one and only, Kate.
I saw her jogging toward us but wasn't sure if it was really her.
"That looks like..." I let my statement drift off since I couldn't believe Darlene's competition could be heading toward us... And I mean, I really didn't believe it was her...Until she was a few feet away.
I keep seeing her.
It's a small world.
We ran approximately 4 miles and I seriously almost died.
That's what I get for willingly heading out to run with the fastest runner in this city.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I recently had a conversation with my employer, who was once a previous coach and still is a role model to me; She was asking about my future goals as to why I exercise as much as I do. I didn't have a specific answer nor goal. I know an Ironman has been in the back of my mind but often when I announce that goal, people just look at me as though I am insane. I actually hadn't thought much about that goal for a long time either because I was going to attack the short sprints and shorter distances first before looking at such an incredible distance. So when she brought it up and told me she really believed I could pull one off with a year of intense training, I thought about that goal being a real possibility. If it doesn't happen next year, I will plan on doing some shorter triathlons and then maybe in the future, I will go for the whole ironman.
The other thing she brought up was that I should get some form of certification for teaching an exercise class. I would really like to do that, for as much as I'm working out, it'd be nice to get paid to do so. On top of that, she would like to start bringing people into her gym to do some exercise classes and who better to help teach than someone who is already working in that facility. -AKA-Me. :)
So now I just have to figure out what I want to teach, there are so many choices. I want something worth my time, money and something I really like to do... Any ideas? I'd love feedback. Likewise, I need to figure out exactly what needs to be done to get myself into the right shape for a triathlon. Starting with a sprint I think.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
I began school 4 weeks ago, and they have been the longest fricking weeks of my life! All I've been doing lately is homework, class work and more homework. I've had no time to blog, very little time to exercise and haven't made enough friends to get to spend time with outside of class.
Last weekend was a Godsend! I got to ride the 50 mile portion of the Seattle Century with three of the most amazing, fun and carefree women! Carol, Darlene and Linda made my entire weekend worthwhile and the joy I felt from spending time with them has carried over into the week. Each of them have such childlike and immensly, joyful personalities that I just want to be around them all of the time. I love this new world of cycling that I've entered into!
The day began early. I was out of my apartment by 7am and headed toward the hotel the three were staying at. We were headed toward Magnuson Park within the hour and registered around 8ish. The views were lovely through out the whole ride and the weather was simply fantastic! I was especially thankful for that since weather in Seattle is known to be unpredictable or bi-polar. There wasn't a bit of rain or even a cloud in the sky. The day was absolutely perfect!
Carol, Darlene and Linda made the ride INCREDIBLE for me! It was so fun to be with people who are so comfortable in their skin that they can just be themselves and enjoy every moment that life gives them. Those are the types of people I want to associate with everyday of my life. The day was over before it began. I could not even tell you where we went. I know we went over a magnificent bridge and we were on what I think is called, "Gibson Park Trail." I could be wrong so don't quote me on that. At the end of the ride we were fed the most delicious tasting salad, salmon, rice pilaf, raspberries and barbequed asparagus!
I can't wait for more rides with 3 ladies in the future! This one I will hold in my heart along with the "Canyon for a Day," "Packwood to Ashford" and the little rides that Carol has taken me on in the past. They are days I will never, ever forget!
For now, the gym is where I'll be located...Spinning to increase my performance on a bike in the future...Or I'll be in a classroom...Wasting my precious life away...
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
However, that is not what this post is about. You don't want to know about my personal life right?... ;)
Anyways, I got to get up at the break of dawn for this adventure. To make matters even better, I had a decaf coffee that kept me up most of the night. It was either that or being super nervous and excited. It could've also been both... Either way, I ended up being up most of the night and from about 4am until 6am I was waking up every half hour or so...
I met Tita at 7am in the Fred Meyer's parking lot. We got our bikes on her vehicle and headed off toward Carol's cabin. We arrived there about an hour and a 1/2 later.
When we got there Carol got me a pair of bike shorts, a jacket and clip on bike shoes. I reminded her I had never worn bike shoes but I decided to give it a shot. It was nerve-wracking learning how to clip in and out but I eventually got the hang of it. And then we headed out at a nice leisurely pace.
We started climbing gradually and slowly. I was actually beginning to get a little bored, a few of the others had moved ahead so I sped up to catch them.
I caught up to a guy named Kale and rode with him until we met up at our first "sag wagon" stop. We waited for the others to catch up before we headed back out again. It always hurts right when I start off, especially when I try going at a decently fast pace right from the beginning.
Eventually I broke off to catch up with the guys in the front again. Before long Carol was right on my tail.
We made the first 20 some miles without incident until the stop sign that would lead us toward Ashford. I had unclipped one shoe and had come to a complete stop, then I leaned over just a little to pull out my other foot. I leaned too much...Suddenly I was falling, I couldn't do anything about it and everyone was in the back and likely watching. It was great... I found myself on the pavement and swiftly pulled myself back up. Talk about total embarressment...
We arrived to our destination. I have forgotten how long it took us to get there. We stopped for lunch. I was still worried about pulling out another 30 miles so I didn't eat much. We took a ton of pics, talked a lot and then headed back for the last 30 miles.
At this point, I was beginning to feel a bit tired. But usually when that happens I try to push myself harder. In which I did, the first 10 to 15 miles were all going gradually upward and thus were not particularly enjoyable. I kept up with two of the faster male cyclists. Then the downhill came...
There is nothing comparable to the feeling of flying down a mountain at 30+ mph with the wind hitting you in the face and watching the world fly by!
I kept up with the two guys most of the way, but eventually they slipped ahead. They waited for me at one point. I caught up and then they flew ahead again. I found them waiting at the bottom of the hill near the first stop sign we had arrived to early that morning.
When I reached the two guys, one of them stated, "If you keep riding in a year, which you should, you are going to be really good!"
The day ended with a bbq at Carol's house.
It was such a lovely adventure. Incredible views, amazing people, delicious food, nice weather and such a fun time!
Friday, June 24, 2011
I finally invested in a sweet ride. My very first road bike and it is a good one! I love how light it is and how perfectly it seems to match my body. Perfect size, perfect height and so easy to move!
On a totally different note...
Am I completely insane for choosing to go on a 60 mile bike ride uphill with Carol?! The answer is yes... YES YES YES...!
What was I thinking!?!
Well looks like I am jumping in with both feet and pretty much cannot pull out now...
Please God, don't let me die!!!!!
Ok, I think I'm done complaining and I'm going to try to stop freaking out, but seriously, what was I thinking?! Thus far the longest ride I've been on is 50 miles and that was going at a nice leisurely pace... Carol tried to tell me that I'll be fine and I'm in shape enough to do the ride. She also told me that she was not fully in biking shape either... At the time, these were encouraging words. Then I remembered that she has been still pulling out miles everyday as the spinning instructor at a much faster pace than I, as well as working out intensely everyday. Just last week she was hiking in Utah, the Grand Canyon and all over the place where the temperature is much higher than it is here. She also has all the supplies and tools she needs for riding; bike shorts, bike shoes, winter clothing and what not. Where as, I do not have any of it... She is planning to let me try a pair of her bike shorts, which are likely going to not fit my ass... She is quite a bit smaller. She also is going to lend me a pair of biking shoes, which I have never tried wearing at this point...Crap, crap, CRAP!
I am honestly super scared about tomorrow.
I'm going to be up at the break of dawn, which means I probably wont get any sleep tonight...And then I am going to be carpooling with another cyclist to "Packwood" where we will begin our adventure. Not only is it a 60 mile ride, but it's uphill...Good god! What have I gotten myself into?!
I know I am probably being overly nervous. I'll probably be fine. Most likely in a lot of pain during the ride and struggling to keep up, but I should still be alive to tell the tale after it is all over...Hopefully. I just don't want to be the one slowing everyone down. I don't mind being in the spotlight except when I'm put into an embarrassing situation. At that point, I would rather be dead. Okay, deep breaths, I can do this...
However, to add to my nervousness...At the second bike shop I visited today. I saw my longtime coach, Norm. We talked a bit and I told him about the ride. He asked who I was going with. He didn't seem to know who Carol was, but a worker in the shop stated off-handedly, "Carol's a fast rider..."
Way to freak me out buddy! I already know this information of course, but I really don't need to be reminded...
Now if only I can get my heart to stop beating sporadically from nervousness or possibly the decaf coffee I drank...(Since that'd totally make my heart beat like this right?!) Ugh...
Well if I make it out of the ride alive, I'll blog about it.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Lately, I've been hearing really encouraging words from people all around me. We aren't always fortunate to have so many inspiring words surrounding us. I know that to be very true from past experiences, as a gymnast I always had coaches, team mates, class mates & so many random people telling me what I could and couldn't do. And more often it seemed, I was told what I could not do.
At 10 years old, I had some teammates ask me what my dream was. Naturally, it was to become an Olympic gymnast. They scoffed at me, telling me I was too old. At 10 years of age, I was already being told that I was too old... Harsh words at such a tender time in one's life. On my twelth birthday, I cried. I cried because I knew I was too old to ever become an Olympic gymnast and if I couldn't be an Olympic gymnast, I didn't want to become anything. Without gymnastics I thought I had nothing.
Gymnastics is a funny sport. The head honcho of women's gymnastics, Martha Karolyi, has more or less chosen out her gymnast's for the Olympic team by the time they are 12 years old. A gymnast may get to be a part of what's called the "TOPS" program. However, you cannot be in that program beyond the age of 11 or 12. This program, more or less, is the determining factor of which gymnast will have a shot at the Olympics. During the 2004 Olympic games, more than half of the girls on the women's Olympic team had been in TOPS as children. There were 3 who had not been in the program; one had already been an elite before the program had started, one was from another country and there was only one who did not have a legitimate excuse, other than the fact that she went elite at 12 years of age...Thus, I had good reason to believe that my dream was no longer in reach. At 12 years old, I had already seen a dream fall out of my grasp. Not many girls my age had such an experience and realizing it was too late to capture that dream taught me many harsh lessons. I grew up extremely fast because of gymnastics.
The sport itself is unbelievably addictive. Any hardcore competitive gymnast will say similar things about the sport. Statements such as, "I could never get enough," "I wanted to train every single day," & '"if I don't do well here (in competition), the world is over."' It's a brutal sport on the mind, body and spirit. It is a beautiful gift and likewise, a terrible burden.
Even after being out of the gym, I find it sometimes difficult to remind myself that I'm really not all that old. I'm still a young-un. I still struggle with eating disorder(s) that are leftover from the judgements from people inside the gymnastics arena. I had coaches who "suggested" weight loss and "encouraged" it. In the gym, I was always "fat", even at my thinnest. Outside of the gym, I am quite average. It's still hard to remember that I am healthy and in good shape because in the gymnastics arena, I was never fit or ever "good enough".
I have started surrounding myself with content and positive people who only say "can". I haven't heard the word "can't" for a long time. The word itself isn't something that I should avoid. After-all, some of the most successful people were the ones that were told "can't" over and over again.
As seen in this youtube video:
But it's something that hurts me when I hear it. Sometimes it breaks me down and sometimes, it makes me stronger. At this point in time, I don't mind not having to hear negativity from disbelievers. I am just as motivated by believers, especially being in a new field of sport(s).
So this was a randomized blog, but thought I should post something and this at least gives you an idea of where I'm coming from. :)
Monday, June 20, 2011
I have been planning to multiple times.
I've been having so many great adventures but I am lacking in time...I have like zero time for anything, currently.
I have been having so much fun training in all sorts of sports. Mostly Tri training, a bit of tough mudders conditioning and some hot yoga.
I am feeling good!
Yet I am frusterated that this is the first post and I don't want to spend much time on it... :/
I did want to update to say that I am planning on registering for my first ever triathlon!
It's a short one. It's the sprint Tri in E-burg that's happening later in July.
I am so motivated to start getting into some races!
I want to see what my body can do.
It's been impressing me these past fews weeks and I want to see how far I can push it... Without killing myself. ;)
Find me on dailymile.com
And while your at it, join me and start your own training logs!:)