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So, I’ve had some difficulty getting back in my training groove since St. Anthony’s which was … oh god, two months ago? UGH.

Don’t get me wrong — I’ve been running and swimming, but the bike hasn’t gotten much attention, and I haven’t been putting the effort forth that I was earlier in the year. And that needs to change, because I’ve signed up for another Olympic length tri in October. So, yeah, the training needs to pick back up.

And what better way to get back in the saddle than to sign up for a sprint triathlon! For which I’m not at all prepared! But who cares, it’s “just a sprint”! And it’s happening on Saturday! Hahahahahaohsweetjebus.

Truthfully, I’m doing it because a really good friend had already signed up (hi Patrick!), and he’s moving away, and I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to do another race with him. Plus, really, it is a good way to get my ass back in gear. Also, the run for this is actually under three miles, and since I did a 3 mile race Monday and kept just under a 10-minute mile, I honestly think I’ll be able to handle the run, which, as we know, is totally the scary part.

Still, I have a feeling I’m going to be hurting something fierce come Saturday afternoon. I suppose that’s just a little extra (okay, a LOT) motivation to pick the training back up so I’m ready for my October Olympic, right?

I’ll get y’all a race report asap. Probably not many pictures, on account of the fact that the only other person I know there will be, you know, racing. Which is probably for the best, because this whole slacking on training thing hasn’t been as kind to the waistline as one might foolishly hope …


End of the bike leg, hitting the horribly bumpy cobblestone. Not fair after 90 minutes in the saddle.

After four solid months of training, it’s over — I participated in the St. Anthony’s triathlon on Sunday, and I finished. Final, official time: 3:04:12. Take that, #50 on my Life List!

(I posted a full race report over at Fit Bottomed Girls and you should definitely go read that, but, well, this was kind of a big deal for me, so I thought it was worth sharing here as well.) Read the rest of this entry »

It was a beautiful spring day. The sun was shining and temperatures were in the 70s. A light breeze rustled the newly green leaves. We had nowhere to be but the Nature Coast Trail, nothing to do but ride our bikes for the next 90 minutes. The ride coincided perfectly with my triathlon training plan, and I was ready to tackle it head on.

And, as it turned out, Mother Nature was ready for me.

Things started out just fine. We passed a turtle munching happily away on leaves. Well, happily until I stopped to take his picture. It was almost like he didn’t want a closeup or something. Turtle are weird.

Why so crabby, turtle? Sheesh.

But then, shit got real.

I believe I experienced the stupidest cycling injury ever to have occurred — a bee flew into the front of my shoe and stung the hell out of my ankle. No, I don’t know how it happened. Yes, it hurt a lot.

At this point, I was a little ahead of Jared, so he got to see the whole panicked affair of me getting my feet out of the toe cages and getting off my bike and trying to get the bee out of my shoe without dropping my precious damn bike. (In the future, I will set the bike down first because have you ever tried to get a bee out of your shoe while holding up a bike? Not easy, yo.)

Jared pulled up and basically asked, “What the hell?” to which I’m pretty sure I answered,”Bee! Hurt! Ow!!!!” Then he spit water on me (like, on the sting, to, I don’t know, disinfect it or something, which now seems like maybe not the best plan) and asked if I wanted to go back. Of course, I did not — I don’t have bee allergies or anything — so we continued on, and several miles (and one successfully eaten Gu) later, we reached the river.

I think this was the Suwannee river? Not entirely sure, but we were not allowed to fish from the bridge. Sorry Dad.

Not a bad stopping point, right?

I’d survived the killer bee and now ridden over a Big Scary Bridge (well, Big and Scary for me, since I have an intense fear of bridges), so then, it was time to head back. Only Mother Nature wasn’t done with me.

I nearly wiped out avoiding a suicidal lizard. I mean, what do you all do when you’re riding a bike and a small animal runs in front of you? Brake? Swerve? Pee a little?

On my last hard interval, I was attacked by a grasshopper the size of a tennis ball. No, I’m serious. He jumped at me and hit my front wheel — which I totally felt — and then got lodged in between my wheel and bike frame. Good thing Jared was there to poke it out with a stick, because I was too busy gagging at the mangled parts and the fact that the grasshopper’s buddy was standing nearby. Watching me. Waiting.

I got back to the car without further incident, and finished up with a 20 minute run without even so much as a bird pooping on me. But man, even though I always thought I was kind of a good country girl, I’m kind of thinking nature sucks.

Now, if one of those things had happened, it would be weird enough, but who has a bee fly into their shoe while cycling? Or a grasshopper get stuck in your bike and make an awful sound? (The sound being the grasshopper parts creating friction against the tire, not the grasshopper himself. I’m pretty sure he was quite dead.) I’m just going to assume I’m super lucky.

It’s the same damn thing every time.

This summer, I was on a roll, baby. I was doing a fairly decent job of watching what I was eating, and I was tracking my calories in (using Calorie Counter on my phone). I was working out most days of the week, relying on the Insanity workouts and mixing in some running and swimming and classes at the gym. I felt fantastic. The numbers on the scale were going down, I had lots of energy, and I felt really proud. I could see the difference in my arms, in my abs, in my face. I remember thinking (the same way I think every time I start to lose weight) that I would never — NEVER — see certain numbers on the scale again. Why would I? This is clearly how I’m supposed to live.

And then, a couple of months ago, I stopped weighing myself daily. I don’t remember the exact reason why, but it’s always essentially the same thing, something along the lines of “had friends in town/went out for pizza/drank myself silly/overindulged at breakfast/went out to eat again/drank a bit of wine to unwind from the crazy weekend” and, after all that, I thought I’d give myself a couple of days to get back on track. “By Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest, I’ll have lost that weekend weight by eating right, stepping away from the chardonnay, and getting in a couple of extra workouts,” I undoubtedly told myself. But then there was pizza left in the fridge, and I was probably too lazy to cook on Monday, so I ate crappy again. “But it’s just one extra day. I can totally undo this damage,” I surely said.

And of course, I didn’t track my calories on those days, because, well, it would just be embarrassing to admit how many calories I was taking in. And besides, it was just a little bitty temporary detour. I was going to get back on track at any time. Any time. But I didn’t, so I continued not weighing myself (because, you know, if I don’t see the numbers, then they might not change!), and, when certain clothes got a little snug, I just wore different ones! Never mind the fact that my maxi dress no longer fell in a straight, fluid line from the band below my bust — if I stood just right and sucked in a little, you totally couldn’t tell. If I positioned my face in a certain way, the extra, I don’t know, faciness was completely hidden from view. Problem solved!

And then, there was the breaking point. This time, it was Thanksgiving, but in the past, it’s been birthdays, vacations, a picture in a bathing suit, etc. It became completely clear that I was on the brink of letting things get out of hand. I can tell you all day long about how I’ve never been “thin,” and how I’m big boned and have a lot of muscle, but the biggest bones and all the muscle in the world weren’t adding up to the numbers I saw when I finally stepped on the scale on Sunday. I was devastated, and furious. Furious that I let this happen and furious that I let a stupid number on a scale make such an impact on my attitude. A few (or a lot of) extra pounds doesn’t make me less of a good person, but you wouldn’t know that to talk to me right after weighing in.

So, I recommitted to eating well and working out hard. And joy of joys, the weight started melting off right away. As it always does, when I’ve been stuffing my face with cheese and booze like I’m the second coming of Henry VIII. The elation! The pride! It’s incredible! I feel so full of hope and optimism right now — will this be the time I (finally) reach my ideal weight? Will I figure out this moderation thing (because it is not a word in my vocabulary) and learn to keep that number low without feeling like I’m missing out on the fun things in life?

Or will I do the exact same thing I do every time, and work really hard to lose a few pounds, then throw it all away after a weekend of excess, and start the cycle all over and bury my concerns in pizza?

(You know, until I realize it’s time to start weighing in again.)

A big part of why I work out is because I like how it makes me feel. I also like that it lets me get away with eating a few slices of pizza now and again without having to buy all new pants — don’t get me wrong.

And I’m not just talking about the runner’s high, although that’s very nice. No, I mean the way working out makes me feel about myself. I feel proud that I’m out there, working hard, pushing myself. I feel proud of what my body can do. But there’s more.

I’ve been noticing more and more that different exercises provoke very different feelings. Running makes me feel powerful, for example. I feel the way all the muscles in my legs work together to push me forward. When I pick up the pace, I feel the way the muscles in my core and shoulders respond — and it’s with strength.

Swimming makes me feel graceful and sleek, which is funny, because I feel so far from graceful or sleek or pretty when in my bathing suit before I get in the water. But, once I slip below the surface, I’m a different person. Everything from the sensation of the water gliding over my body to the way the bubbles and sunshine create patterns on the bottom of the pool is pretty much perfect — in the water, I feel exactly like the person I want to be, if that makes sense.

Dance workouts, like Zumba, make me feel kind of sexy. Something about dancing in a room full of womenĀ  (and maybe a few men), all of whom are shaking and shimmying with abandon, is really beautiful. In my head, I know my hips don’t move like Shakira’s, and I know my abs don’t look quite like the 20-year-old instructor’s, but my heart doesn’t give a damn. It’s just joyful — sweaty and out of breath, yes, but joyful, and I think that’s pretty sexy.

Biking, on the other hand, just makes me feel sorry for Jared because all I can think about is how cyclists must never — never — have sex. Good god I hate cycling. It’s just painful. Yeah, no redeeming qualities there.

Am I nuts? Or do other people get totally different feelings from different workouts? Come on, dish!

I know that a lot of people have test anxiety. I, however, do not. I’ve always been pretty good at tests, which is a good thing, because tomorrow, I have a swimming test.


Now, the last time I took a swimming test, I was nine and at camp and I kicked that swimming test’s ass. I mean, swim the length of the dock and then tread water? Piece of cake. I can do that in my sleep, easy. (I’m not saying this to brag — I just learned to swim when I was a baby, grew up with a pool in my back yard and a lake across the street, and I’ve just always been a strong swimmer. I’m bad at plenty of other things, trust me.)

I’ve been taking swimming classes over the last couple of months, which has been a huge eye opener. As it turns out, I can swim fairly well, but I’m a TERRIBLE breather. Who knew? For the past 30 years, I thought I’d been breathing pretty well, the occasional asthma attack aside, but no! It’s been totally fascinating to learn the proper technique and learn drills and find myself getting better. When do the qualifiers for London 2012 take place? I could be a 30-year-old prodigy, y’all.

Ok, no, I couldn’t. Still, it’s exciting to learn how to actually swim well. But I am totally nervous for this test tomorrow. It’s 20 minutes, and I just swim as far as I can. I mean, I’m not nervous about, like, not being able to do it. Oh, I will do it, don’t you worry. And it’s not like there are prizes for doing it well. But I really, really want to do it really, really well. Even though it doesn’t count for anything.

Go ahead. Call me a tool. I can take it.

In other workout-y news, Jared and I have been doing the Insanity workouts. This is kind of huge, because, well, we’ve never worked out together. We’ve gone to the gym together (at which point he does his thing and I do mine), we’ve gone running together (for about five minutes, before he gets sick of going at my pace and takes off), and we’ve played basketball and volleyball together. But when it comes to, like, working out for working out’s sake, this is a total first. A total first that’s kicking our asses, but it’s been really fun to actually do this together. Fun, and hard, especially since today was both a Fit Test (test! again) which tracks our progress, and a new, longer, harder workout we’d never done. It’s nice to be able to swear at the TV and have somebody else appreciate the fact that I can be witty while gasping for air, is all I’m saying. (Plus he looks pretty cute all sweaty. What can I say?)

Yep, I’m still a tool. Whatever.

Final testing news — I’ve had some projects come up lately that have been testing my patience, which is a large part of why I haven’t update poor ol’ Jeez-o-petes lately. I’ll do better about this in the coming weeks, I promise.

So, fill me in — have you been doing any cool workouts lately? Keep me inspired and share!

So, my morning routine is getting up, pulling out the Wii Fit, and weighing in. I do this before I get dressed and before I eat breakfast, for consistency’s sake. And, for the most part, I’ve been rewarded.

You know, other than the part where the Wii says, in the most dejected voice ever, “That’s overweight.” And then my Mii hangs herself.

I’m a smart girl. Whether I’m aware of exactly how many pounds I weigh or not, I know I’m not petite or skinny. I’m big boned, and I carry a lot of muscle, and at the moment, there’s a little layer of pudge on top of that. And it’s okay — I’m working on it, and charting my losses and gains on the Wii Fit is super helpful.

But sometimes, the Wii can suck it.

For example, last weekend, I went for a long run before weighing in, and, because I’M HEALTHY, I drank a bunch of water while doing it. And so, the Wii chastised me for gaining an apparent 2.2 pounds. Overnight. It also had me set a new goal because I OBVIOUSLY didn’t reach the original one, what with the gaining so much weight over night.

So, the next morning, I followed my regular schedule, and was happy to see a significant loss from the day before. And at first, Wii was happy, too.

“Wow! You’ve reached your goal! That’s great!” it said in its squeaky little voice. But then, it got all concerned, like an overprotective mother. “You reached your goal a little too fast. I’m worried. Do I need to come to your house? Are you eating? ARE YOU?”

Ummm … I pooped. Seriously. That is all. So, apparently, the way to meet my Wii goals is to spend less time running and more time doing my business. Good to know.

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