4/30/09

Rest of the week

Thanks for all the nice comments about Body Image. As you strive for weight loss, while improving your performance as an athlete (or fitness enthusiast), believe in yourself that you can do it! Understand that your focus isn't a certain body type. Don't compare yourself to others! Your goal weight isn't a number on a scale. What is the ideal weight for yourself anyways??? Who knows!??! Strive to increase your lean muscle mass and decrease your fat mass. Because males aren't trying to achieving zero body fat and for the ladies, you want to ensure healthy hormone production through a healthy body fat percentage, look at your weight loss journey (through healthy eating) as a way to get stronger as an athlete. Being lean doesn't mean you are stick thin and you see every muscle in your body. As you drop fat mass you will notice your clothes feeling looser and you should start to see definition in your body. Remember...it takes time! Just because you had 3 great days of healthy eating, don't expect to see ripped abs. Keep up the hard work and remind yourself that you are a lifelong athlete. Your focus is consistent training, hard work, dediction and ultimately progress. You are an individual with your own goals and always remember to make practical and realistic goals, both long term and short term. In the end, you will never feel restricted, unhappy or stressed about your decisions to eat healthy, take care of your body and live the rewarding multisport lifestyle.

On another note...my training is going well. I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming IM in 4 months but the training is coming along. I can tell my progress with my training when my workouts change every so often. It is really important that all athletes (racing athletes or just gym lovers) change up the workouts every few weeks. Give your body time to adapt to a new training program but be sure not to do the same workout every day. It's ok to have a consistent routine where you do a certain discipline/type of workout for each day of the week, but don't make every workout the same. Shawn just changed up my week of training and instead of doing my bike intervals on Tues, I do them on Thurs. Tuesday was great when I did my tempo ride after a day off but then on Wed morning, after 3 x 1 mile's on the treadmill(total 6.5 miles) at 10K pace, it was tough convincing myself that I could do 6 x 5 min. c30 (power wattage) on my bike this morning. Also, swimming was super tough yesterday after I ran and we did 3 x 500's descending (7:03, 6:56, 6:53) and then 8 x 100's pull on 1:30. Luckily, my brick workout is on tuesday so it was a nice change to push hard on my bike this morning (with Karel drafting behind me, coaching me all the way :)), and not having to run afterwards. Of Course I LOVE taking Campy for a run so we always run after I come home from my workouts. It is a treat for both of us cause we have so much fun.
I had an awesome time in athens, running on the streets of downtown Athens and riding my bike in the rolling hills of GA. This weekend is another great training opportunity. We are heading to SC (spartanburg) on Fri. Karel races at 8pm for another crit for Speedweek. Anyone in SC is welcome to come! Then we will make a late drive to NC (about an hour) to stay with my good friend Christi. We stayed at her house last year but she was out of town. So this year she lined up some workouts for me and I am super excited. Sat morning I am doing a 1-mile lake swim, followed by a 50-mile bike. Although I LOVED riding my road bike in athens, I will bring my tri bike to ride the hills. This will be a good opportunity for me to practice the rollers before my half ironman in Macon, GA on May 30th. Then Karel has a crit at 4:30 on Sat in Charlette, NC and after a 16 mile run with Christi on Sun morning, Karel and I will head to Sandy Springs GA for his last crit of Speed Week.
I have a feeling my blog is a bunch of blabbering on but with this week being my finals week (Bio Chem today and Nutrition through the life cycle tomorrow) I am just a bit stressed right now.
Have a great day!

4/28/09

Body Image

I just got the latest issue of Triathlete in the mail yesterday.
I don't care that they have a swim suit issue. But to make things fair they should have more male models for all my ladies out there :)
However, I did mind that the bold print on the face of the magazine read "BODY IMAGE Are triathletes obsessed" and on the cover was a gorgeous female model.
I know that triathletes obsess about body image. But not nearly as much as they obsess about triathlons. I have a feeling triathletes would rather weigh 10 lbs more and continue doing triathlons instead of weighing 10lbs less and giving up triathlons. Not only are triathlons addicting, but training is a lifestyle.
I went right to pg. 57 for the article on body image. I agree with certain points of the article and I can admit that many triathletes have rockin' bodies....and so do cyclists :)
I will be the first to say that I believe in using food for fuel and not storing extra calories as fat. I repeat...extra calories, not burned or stored for future use are stored as fat. You want to keep your body efficient at using calories and that requires that you don't eat more than your body needs.
So, if it was that easy to eat less, exercise more and get a toned, rock solid body, why do many triathletes continually struggle with weight loss?
On pg. 20 of the magazine there is an article on being comfortable in your own skin. I know that there are more and more athletes wanting a better body which matches the dedication and discipline they put forth in training. But I ask all those athletes out there who struggle with toning up and reaching that goal weight....Has anyone ever weighed you at the finish line in order to receive a finisher medal? When it comes to the finish line of a race, you will show your discipline and dedication to your sport by how you raced and how you finished. Maybe you were last in your age group or maybe you placed top 10 overall, but a toned body doesn't mean you are going to PR or win a race. Sure you may feel a little little and you will put less stress on the body but toned body or not, you train to get stronger, faster and healthier.
When I went to Kona I was in the land of ripped, lean and fast bodies. It was amazing. For someone like me who loves the human body, I was in heaven. There is nothing like a fast, strong, lean body. But, with looking at other bodies, comes stress, anxiety, frustration, jealousy, envy and comparison. When a friend of yours gains weight you have a hard time saying anything, but if your friend got super lean (I HATE the word SKINNY so I try to NEVER use it!) you become envious and you start to evaluate what you are doing wrong in your own weight loss battle. When it comes to triathletes who you aspire to look like (strong arms, ripped abs, powerful quads, tight butt, a swimmers back, etc.) I have a feeling those athletes are ranking at the top of their age groups. Or, perhaps it is a pro athlete or a picture of an athlete in a magazine. As you struggle to fit in enough hours of the day, to balance training, family, work, school, kids, significant others, racing, traveling, meetings, cooking, errands, etc. you are probably comparing yourself to the athlete who dedicates most of his/her energy to training and racing. Now this isn't to say that the single mom of 3 kids can't have a smokin' body and rank at the top of her age group and the person who is 20 lbs overweight can't place top 5 in an IM event, but most of time, we compare ourselves to top athletes.
So, does this mean if we have great looking bodies that we will qualify for Kona? Not necessarily.
In order to achieve weight loss through training, you must focus on healthy eating with balance, moderation and portion control. You must eat to support your training volume and intensity. You may be able to look like an Olympic athlete but you can't eat like one 'cause you don't train like one.
The two biggest setbacks for athletes wanting lose weight are:
1) Eating because...
2) Not timing nutrition with training.
Just because you trained, you can't eat whatever and however much you want. You are eating to fuel upcoming workouts (complex carbs) and you are eating to recover from workouts (lean, low fat protein). Therefore, you must eat conciously. You have to have a plan of what to eat before, during and after workouts and you also have to space out your calories during the day. I know it sounds easy but if you want to tone up with realistic and practical changes, you have to eat a little less (feel satisfied, not stuffed), exercise a little harder (focus on quality and intensity, not always quantity) and prioritize balanced and controlled meals.
Eating healthy can be easy but recognize that everything is not lost if you "mess up". If you came in late for work on Monday, you wouldn't say screw it, I already messed up so I'll come in late everyday this week. If you end up eating a bit more than planned, eat a little less for your snack or a little less at dinner. Furthermore, stop playing games with yourself. If food is in your house you should be able to eat it whenever you want. It should be healthy. Don't sabatoge your performance and weight loss goals by convincing yourself that a little bit is ok just because you worked out. A little bit of yogurt, yes. A little bit of chips and ranch dip, no.
Most people (newbies) start training for a triathlon, or any sport, because of a new active lifestyle. Sure a triathlon is a challenge, but the idea that training for 3 sports can help you lose weight is a great reason to sign up for a race. More than anything, it isn't about triathlons, cycling, running or whatever event you choose to train for. If you want to tone up and stop obsessing about your body, remember that weight loss is just like training. It takes time, it won't happen overnight and small changes make big differences.
No matter what level of athlete you are, keep up the hard training and stay focused with your weight loss journey.
Remember..you don't want a lean body if you can't do anything with it!

4/27/09

Speed week part 1

Athens Twilight Crit was amazing. One of the most exciting races I have ever seen..and the most packed!
I don't have the pics up yet, but here are youtube videos I found;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB25VuBky68
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKk_LcrcfkI (Crash right infront of me!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN3hvi_4lL8&NR=1

Our hotel was a few blocks from the course so I headed up to the race to watch the $1000 mile run and the women's Pro race. I ended up qualifying for the $1000 mile run due to my top 15 women's finish in the 5K but after about 30 minutes of thinking I could run with these 16 year old xc girls who weigh about 30 lbs less than me, I decided to pass on it. Also, after my 50K bike in the rollers of GA (which I LOVED!) I was ready to relax the rest of the day. However, it was really excited to watch the guys and girls run all out. Some of them were dressed in funny outfits and it was great to see people having fun out there. I will post pics later from that race.
It was around 7pm when the streets started to get packed and I knew I had to claim my spot early. I wanted to be right at a corner cause that is where the action is at (and the crashes...err). So, I stood right at the barricade at corner 2 for over 2 hours to keep my spot and it was worth it! I was able to watch the womens race and when the Men's pro race started at 9:30 I was so happy to have a close spot.
Karel didn't finish the race. He is bummed. Cycling is much different from tri's because you either stay on a wheel (you can take the pain) or you can't (you can't suffer any longer). But life goes on and he has moved on. Although he still thinks about the what if's...like being stuck behind the big crash on the FIRST loop and barely dodging the bikes as a bunch of people fell to the ground and then getting behind another crash later in the race, I guess this is just one of those races were you just get lucky. Karel was really happy to have number 74 because out of 150 riders he was able to get near the middle for the start. The guys who race this race are just abnormal. So fast, without nerves and full of risks. It was unbelievable to see how the front of the pack takes the corners and then for the back of the back (eventually that was Karel) it was nearly impossible to catch up when people start dropping out.
Karel looked at his power and did over 25 sprints of 1000+ watts. There was a slight incline on every loop right after corner 2 which was just brutal on the races.
When Karel watched the end of the race with me I think he was still upset about his crash and just not feeling 100% for his most important race of the year. But, after a good nights sleep he was ready for Sunday. I'm super proud of Karel and I was so happy to have my hubby in that race. I had people asking me if I knew anyone in the race and it was great to see the reaction of people when I say my husband is racing. Karel I still think you are awesome and I love that you love what you do!
Although Karel didn't finish the Athens twilight crit, along with many other Pro riders, Karel did place 2nd in the Masters 30+ crit on sat morning, which Karel did as a warm-up. :) Yay Karel!
After a 45 min run and then an easy spin on the rolling hills of Athens w/ Karel we packed up the car and headed to Rosewell, GA. It was only a 75 min. drive so that wasn't too bad.
The town was super cute and thankfully, not as many people were there compared to Athens. I heard they expected over 30,000 people at Athens???
The roads were still lined with people in Rosewell and the field was enormous! 170 Pro riders!!
Karel needed this finish to boost him up for next week (races on Fri, sat and sun in SC, NC and GA) and with a few chats to God during the race, he finished. Karel said he had a moment with about 20 min. to go where he just couldn't take it any more. He was playing games with himself, just one more lap. Humm, sounds familiar. I say that during most of my running races..."just one more mile then you can quit."
Karel finished around 50-55th place and I am so proud of him. After a 6 hour drive home, we finally made it back to our place at 2am. I picked up Campy first thing this morning (I even set my alarm so I could get Campy as soon as possible...who needs sleep?) and to no suprise, Campy is proud of Karel no matter what :)
Enjoy the pics.