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A dose of reality in an unreal world

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I find it hard sometimes being altogether too human while sustaining a nearly superhuman weight loss. Yes, I did it. Yes, I'm trying to balance keeping the weight off while exploring my world as a smaller, fitter person. No, it isn't easy.

Yes, I've been able to take up whitewater kayaking. Yes, I've rapidly improved at it, but no, I'm not where I want to be in it. This past weekend the Deerfield River decided I'd gotten a bit too uppity (and it's true I had) and taught me a brusing lesson that kept me out of the boat half of Saturday, all of Sunday, and off my road bike today.

It's painful because I have no idea what my limits ARE anymore, since I've exceeded so many of the ones I used to believe in. So now I'm trying to catch up with my 20-something paddling friends (who started almost a year before me) and why not?! I mean, I've done things already beyond my wildest dreams. Why SHOULDN'T I be paddling class IV rapids cleanly less than a year after beginning the sport?

So what if I'm in my mid-40s and female (and they're male and in their 20s)? So what if three years ago I carried more fat on me than I weigh total now? I'm superhuman, right? I can clearly do ANYTHING, so I will, right?

I'm not a patient person. When I figure out what I want I usually end up wanting it yesterday. So I have a hard time when things in life give me a reality check. I mean, my recent transformation has been so unreal, I don't even know what kind of world I live in anymore. It's quite disorienting. And disappointing when things don't go the way I hope they will.

I'm resting up so I can paddle this weekend. I'm going to work on my skills, strength, and use this disappointment to fuel progress toward my overall maintenance goals.

When I first really discovered white water kayaking late last autumn I wasn't even to my goal weight yet, and decided I wanted to be the baddest 40-something ass on the river who used to weigh over 300 lbs. I'm probably close to that already but it's not enough anymore.

Maybe I didn't conquer the Dryway this weekend. But I will eventually, and when that day comes I'll be ready for it. Despite my age. Despite my gender. Despite my fitness history. Despite how long or not I've been paddling.

-----------------
GRACEFULIFE asked what actually happened, so I'll paste my response here:

Well, let's see.

I left my house super early (4:30am), picked up my paddling buddy at 5:30, and we drove to Charlemont, MA (5+ hours) met up with some more paddling friends, and headed down the Dryway around 11 or 12.

www.americanwhite water.org/content/River/detail/ id/681/

I wasn't scared at all and I probably should have been. I was tired from the drive and didn't take that into account. I was in my creek boat which I haven't used much these past few months. I have been paddling pretty easy water lately, too, and after a 2-week hiatus. And the stretch we were running starts out really easy with a bunch of fun class III rapids and then suddenly at the end it's three class IV rapids in a row. So it was kind of a recipe for disaster, but I was not experienced enough to recognize it.

I flipped a couple of times on the upper section and managed to roll up without too much difficulty. I noticed that my creek boat just doesn't maneuver like the play boat and I was having to adjust my paddling style to accommodate that.

I flipped in the first class IV rapid (Dunbar) and had trouble getting back up so I popped out. That wasn't good, but it wasn't fatal. Got me and my gear to the side, emptied the boat, and got back on the river.

The second class IV rapid (Dragon's Tooth) we scouted and I ran it OK but eddied out river right instead of river left where I was supposed to be.

That set me up for an awkward line entering the last rapid, Labyrinth. I got flipped, couldn't come up, and ended up popping out and swimming most of that one. It was really... something. Lots of water, getting pushed down, surfacing with barely time to catch another breath before being shoved under again.

So that was enough for that day. The following day I was back and ready to do the whole thing clean.

But I was kind of wigged out about the day before and hadn't logically thought through WHY I'd been having trouble rolling. (now I think it's because my head was coming up too soon)

So I paddled really conservatively and not quite aggressively enough for conditions.

Managed to get through most of the whole thing including Dunbar and most of Dragon's Tooth without even flipping, but flipped at the end of the second-to-last rapid.

Again I had trouble rolling up. And this time I was getting hit HARD by underwater rocks. It was ugly. My paddle was being yanked around in my hands by the current. It was too much. I popped out.

There was a raft right behind me on my tail and to avoid being run over I grabbed onto their webbing. My foot got caught in my boat's backband strings. The raft guide hauled me up onto the raft where I was stuck on my back with my leg hanging over the side still tangled in my boat.

And we started going down Labyrinth that way. With me getting thrown from side to side as my boat flailed in the rapids. I was terrified that my leg was going to get broken and started screaming to let me off the raft. The guide told me to "let my foot come out of the bootie."

This is impossible with the booties I have. They're ON, and for good reason. They're hard to pull off even when the velcro is released. I screamed that I couldn't, at which point she reached down and cut the strings tangling my foot.

My shoulder already hurt at this point but at least my leg was OK, thank God. I took my paddle and joined the raft customers paddling the raft down the rest of the rapid. Even injured I could tell by feel that only the guide and I were really paddling that thing. It was pretty funny.

I was reunited with my boat down below, got into it, and paddled to the takeout.

The whole thing was just really upsetting, especially the shoulder injury part, because we'd planned to run the river again in the afternoon and paddle the following day before heading home.

It was also disturbing because a bad shoulder injury (like a rotator cuff issue) can put an end to your season.

And I was worried that I was holding back my friends and that I wouldn't be able to paddle with them anymore, because I suck.

One of 'em is training to be an EMT so he used towels to make a sling. Another actually had ice in his beer cooler so I could stick some up under there. And eventually we got me back to my car where my pain pills were.

They got to run the river again, and my carpool buddy did get to run something the day after.

But it was painful physically and emotionally and I think the river got my attention, which is what needed to happen, given that I was oblivious to all the compounding potential signs of a problem. It wasn't so much the Dryway that bit me, but my own hubris.

What is actually hurt is my trapezius. I suspect that a rock hit it while I was upside down in Dragon's Tooth because it hurts most right over the place where my bones are near the surface.

I did ride my bike to work on Tuesday, but yesterday it was hurting again so I skipped the commute today and am icing it.

I really want to paddle again this weekend so I hope if I take it easy that'll be possible.

Older maybe, but not necessarily wiser than my companions. But maybe if I can learn some patience and restraint I'll get there.

--------------------

@ OCTOBER2842
The point of this post is that I don't KNOW my limits anymore. Unfortunately I really can't find out where they are unless I exceed them sometimes. Given a different set of conditions, I would have run that stretch fine, I suspect.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENACIOUSTIGER 6/28/2012 11:06PM

    ooow that sounds very scary but you've come back on top

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JAY75REY 8/6/2010 2:23PM

    Ouch.

Your inner super-woman collided with the outer forces of nature and the limits of the physical body. It was an epic three way collision.

I'm glad you weren't injured more seriously, but I feel your disappointment. Be easy on yourself as you heal and you'll be back again, super-woman, wiser and more prepared. Experience is such a good teacher!

emoticon

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CARRIE1948 8/6/2010 7:25AM

    We're all chasing someone. When I go out with you, I feel the same thing - a 50-something trying to do what a 40-something can do. And, when I'm with my daughter, trying to keep pace with a 20-something.

The reality is pushing your limits is what got you where you are. Sometimes we need physical thunderbolts to remind us we're human. That's cool. Just don't let them stop you for too long.

There are days I can barely move, but I haven't missed a weight training session and on all but 2 days in the last few months I've gotten in at least 2 hours of cardio. As the Nike ad says, "Just Do It"

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DDOORN 8/6/2010 6:16AM

    I've had similar feelings, albeit under TOTALLY different conditions and pushing myself beyond my limits to a MUCH smaller degree as I've tackled increasingly longer and more challenging bike rides with folks generally 10-20 years younger. However I haven't tackled such things without a niggling voice in the back of my mind, causing doubt: "Are you REALLY up to this challenge?" So far, yes I HAVE been, so no major miscall at this point. But I can't help but have some thoughts along those lines as I prepare for 175 miles on my bike in 2 days' time.

I think it's healthy to challenge ourselves and our notions of what we can do...but like anything else (food, etc.) it's always possible to have TOO MUCH of a good thing!

Rest up and have at it...I just KNOW you're gonna NAIL any whitewater challenge you set your sights on in due time...IF you can be safe out there!

Don

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GRACEFULIFE 8/5/2010 4:32PM

    Don't paddle tired, or with equipment with which you aren't comfortable, is something I learned on the Huron in that trip I mentioned before. It sounds like that raft's guide was pretty on top of things, which was no doubt good for both of you. The booties I bought would be the same thing.. impossible to get off. I got the NRS Kickers, which have both a big ol' velcro strap and a string closure around the top. Not coming off... which sounds like a good idea most of the time. It sure looks like a lot of boil in the water in Dragon's Tooth, that's for sure. Rotator cuff injury is a big deal... careful with the shoulders, please!

I swam a V+ on the Gauley when I rafted it... and yes I remember that feeling of just being pulled every which way, sort of sucked up then spit out. Then floating downriver feet first, feet hitting rocks... it sounds like you got banged up worse than I did that day. I bet our motley-ass crew of rafters didn't have a whole lot of paddling force either, on average.

Another takeaway is if you haven't paddled the specific boat you will use on a trip, during the week before the trip get it on easy water, practice maneuvering and rolling. That's a guideline I'm definitely going to remember as my journey continues.


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DLCJ21 8/5/2010 4:12PM

  I feel the same way in a lot of things I try to do. It resulted in 2 high ankle sprains that kept me from doing anything productive for 2 weeks each time. I scaled it back a bit, worked a little harder to train, and a few months later, I'm able to do what I was trying to do when I got hurt without pushing myself as hard.

I'm sure the same will be said for you and your kayaking...there's no reason you shouldn't be able to keep up, but if they've been doing it for years and you've only been doing it for a year, it's an unrealistic expectation to be out there trying to do the same thing with less experience.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/5/2010 3:59PM

    Well, let's see.

I left my house super early (4:30am), picked up my paddling buddy at 5:30, and we drove to Charlemont, MA (5+ hours) met up with some more paddling friends, and headed down the Dryway around 11 or 12.

http://www.americanwhite
water.org/content/River/detail/
id/681/

I wasn't scared at all and I probably should have been. I was tired from the drive and didn't take that into account. I was in my creek boat which I haven't used much these past few months. I have been paddling pretty easy water lately, too, and after a 2-week hiatus. And the stretch we were running starts out really easy with a bunch of fun class III rapids and then suddenly at the end it's three class IV rapids in a row. So it was kind of a recipe for disaster, but I was not experienced enough to recognize it.

I flipped a couple of times on the upper section and managed to roll up without too much difficulty. I noticed that my creek boat just doesn't maneuver like the play boat and I was having to adjust my paddling style to accommodate that.

I flipped in the first class IV rapid (Dunbar) and had trouble getting back up so I popped out. That wasn't good, but it wasn't fatal. Got me and my gear to the side, emptied the boat, and got back on the river.

The second class IV rapid (Dragon's Tooth) we scouted and I ran it OK but eddied out river right instead of river left where I was supposed to be.

That set me up for an awkward line entering the last rapid, Labyrinth. I got flipped, couldn't come up, and ended up popping out and swimming most of that one. It was really... something. Lots of water, getting pushed down, surfacing with barely time to catch another breath before being shoved under again.

So that was enough for that day. The following day I was back and ready to do the whole thing clean.

But I was kind of wigged out about the day before and hadn't logically thought through WHY I'd been having trouble rolling. (now I think it's because my head was coming up too soon)

So I paddled really conservatively and not quite aggressively enough for conditions.

Managed to get through most of the whole thing including Dunbar and most of Dragon's Tooth without even flipping, but flipped at the end of the second-to-last rapid.

Again I had trouble rolling up. And this time I was getting hit HARD by underwater rocks. It was ugly. My paddle was being thrown around in my hands by the current It was too much. I popped out.

There was a raft right behind me on my tail and to avoid being run over I grabbed onto their webbing. My foot got caught in my boat's backband strings. The raft guide hauled me up onto the raft where I was stuck on my back with my leg hanging over the side still tangled in my boat.

And we started going down Labyrinth that way. With me getting thrown from side to side as my boat flailed in the rapids. I was terrified that my leg was going to get broken and started screaming to let me off the raft. The guide told me to "let my foot come out of the bootie."

This is impossible with the booties I have. They're ON, and for good reason. They're hard to pull off even when the velcro is released. I screamed that I couldn't, at which point she reached down and cut the strings tangling my foot.

My shoulder already hurt at this point but at least my leg was OK, thank God. I took my paddle and joined the raft customers paddling the raft down the rest of the rapid. Even injured I could tell by feel that only the guide and I were really paddling that thing. It was pretty funny.

I was reunited with my boat down below, got into it, and paddled to the takeout.

The whole thing was just really upsetting, especially the shoulder injury part, because we'd planned to run the river again in the afternoon and paddle the following day before heading home.

It was also disturbing because a bad shoulder injury (like a rotator cuff issue) can put an end to your season.

And I was worried that I was holding back my friends and that I wouldn't be able to paddle with them anymore, because I suck.

One of 'em is training to be an EMT so he used towels to make a sling. Another actually had ice in his beer cooler so I could stick some up under there. And eventually we got me back to my car where my pain pills were.

They got to run the river again, and my carpool buddy did get to run something the day after.

But it was painful physically and emotionally and I think the river got my attention, which is what needed to happen, given that I was oblivious to all the compounding potential signs of a problem. It wasn't so much the Dryway that bit me, but my own hubris.

What is actually hurt is my trapezius. I suspect that a rock hit it while I was upside down in Dragon's Tooth because it hurts most right over the place where my bones are near the surface.

I did ride my bike to work on Tuesday, but yesterday it was hurting again so I skipped the commute today and am icing it.

I really want to paddle again this weekend so I hope if I take it easy that'll be possible.

Older maybe, but not necessarily wiser than my companions. But maybe if I can learn some patience and restraint I'll get there.
emoticon

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OCTOBER2842 8/5/2010 3:38PM

    It's great to push the limit but it sounds like you went to far

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GRACEFULIFE 8/5/2010 3:25PM

    OK... you talked around it so much that I just have to ask... what happened?

There's no reason you shouldn't be chasing the 20 year old boys. But now that you're older and wiser, you can do so carefully and wisely. At least that's the idea. Big rivers are dangerous places. Take care of yourself, please.

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Good news, bad news.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Mile 46. 10 left to go.

The good news is that I went the whole distance (1.2 miles open water swim, 56 miles on bike).

The bad news is that I missed the bike course cutoff by 18 minutes so they didn't list even my swim time in the results. As far as the results are concerned, I never even did it.
emoticon

But *I* know I did it. My muscles sure do.

I barely made it out of the swim course - with 2 minutes to spare. I'm a super slow swimmer.

According to my HR monitor, here are my times (since I don't get any from the microchip I wore the whole time)

1.2 miles swim
1:22
591 calories
165 max HR
128 avg HR

56 miles bike ride
4:00
1865 cal
156 max HR
136 avg HR

I don't regret doing it, but I'm glad it's over, and now I can go back to my kayaking with a clean conscience, not feeling like I should be triathlon training, instead! LOL (I signed up for this event back in November, long before I got hooked on white water...)

And by the way, 2456 calories is way more than I usually eat in a day. And I *burned* it, on top of my BMR. LOL

P.S. About the "training" - I was doing fine until April when white water season started and simultaneously the pool I was using closed for 3 weeks for a semester break. I started paddling frequently and never looked back. It was so much more fun. I rode my bike outside probably about 3 or 4 times since April. Spin class became unavailable sometime in May due to summer break at the college where they teach it.

I'd swum 1.2 miles only once before, in the pool and wasn't as fast as I did it yesterday. And that was back in February. I believe the last time I rode my bike more than 26 miles in a single shot was in the 1980s. To be honest, I wasn't 100% sure I was physically going to be able to complete the course.

Having done it, I have no doubt that if I'd actually stuck to the training schedule I would have completed the course in plenty of time, both swim and bike. But the training is so boooooooring compared with kayaking. I'd rather spend my energy paddling and training FOR paddling (cardio mixed with strength training) than focusing on just the cardio for this (bike + swim)

Maybe if I didn't have knee arthritis that prevents running I would be more into this - after all, as an "aquabike" participant I was already ineligible for any prizes or anything.

Anyway, I tried something new, did it, and found out that training for it just doesn't float my boat (literally). I don't regret trying it, and I'm relieved that I finished it, (and feel fine today). Now I know.

And NEXT YEAR I'm going to leave my ENTIRE SUMMER open for kayaking, because I can't tell you how many enticing trips with friends I had to turn down already for A) the diabetes charity ride I'd signed up for, and B) this triathlon.

I have two more things coming up, neither of them timed:

1) 1.2 mile charity swim next month. Piece of cake.
2) 100 mile charity ride in September. I'll just start riding my bike to work on a regular basis (14 miles each way). Should be fine.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIKIN_NURSE 1/2/2011 2:54AM

  just read your blog. i'm planning on doing an aquabike event this year. haven't been swimming in years but love the biking!!! the thought of it makes me nervous. but it's just to prove to myself i can complete it not be a top competitor. hope to make it to florida from arkansas for the july event. where was yours?

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NGCHILD 7/28/2010 5:21PM

    I am way behind in blogs .... but CONGRATS to you for your HUGE accomplishment!!

You are a ROCK star in my book!!

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PSSN4FITNESS 7/21/2010 10:00AM

    Wow, scored or not, no one can take this accomplishment from you. That is an incredible feat! Congratulations!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAVEW175 7/21/2010 6:28AM

    Congratulations! emoticon

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ALYFITN 7/20/2010 9:15AM

    emoticon Sounds like you are making great choices. I love your kayaking pics and videos--very inspiring. And you stick to things you love--so great for body and soul. Great job trying the tri-athlete thingie. Congrats!

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THEWEIGHTSOVER 7/14/2010 3:42PM

    Wow you are done! Great job finishing. Sounds like you could have rocked it if you had trained harder (or actually liked the training) Like you said, now you can do what you like best, whitewater.

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SYSADMN 7/14/2010 10:29AM

    You AVERAGED 136 BPM for four hours? Fantastic, that's really impressive. I thought I was doing well to average 125 for a half hour on a stationary bike! Thanks for inspiring me to push myself a little harder

emoticon

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AFM-SPARK 7/13/2010 4:57PM

    Awesome job! I don't see ANY bad news! What you've done is amazing!

I hope to try kayaking soon. It's pretty popular around here in the DC area. Problem is: now I've started working on the weekends when most "stuff" happens... Well, I'll see what happens, I don't even know if the job is going to work out for me.

-A

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SUSIEMT 7/12/2010 10:49PM

    Wow! I am so proud of you! Good job! emoticon emoticon emoticon



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DDOORN 7/12/2010 8:57PM

    Kudos to pushing yourself past that feeling of "can I do this?" !!

Best of all, there is NOTHING that tops the feeling of having found one's niche, the action that really sets you on FIRE! Love your decision to put kayaking first and foremost next summer!

Hey, a DVD you might enjoy: Paddle To The Sea

http://www.amazon.com/Pa
ddle-Released-association-Crite
rion-Collection/dp/B0012Z362GR>
Don

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SPARKIE1964 7/12/2010 2:49PM

    SIMPLY AMAZING!

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STEVIECAT4 7/12/2010 12:53PM

    CONGRATULATIONS MY FRIEND!!! emoticon

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TIREDOFWORKING 7/12/2010 9:16AM

    Wow! Great job! That is quite an accomplishment!

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RAINBOWFALLS 7/12/2010 9:02AM

    Great job accomplishing what you set out to do. We talked about you while kayaking yesterday at our Binghamton Spark Rally. It was mentioned that you are far beyoond our simple lake peddling. It was my first time kayaking and I really enjoyed it a lot.

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CARRIE1948 7/12/2010 7:09AM

    Way to go. Well done.

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GRACEFULIFE 7/12/2010 12:01AM

    Well, you were able to complete it, without that much training I gather from your tone. So no matter. Now back to your regularly scheduled whitewater!!! emoticon

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ANNE7X7 7/11/2010 9:46PM

    Great job! You are my hero for even tackling the event! Way to go!!

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ELYMWX 7/11/2010 8:17PM

    Congrats! At least you know you finished, and that's a supremely large one-day burn!

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DANSTOUT 7/11/2010 8:15PM

    I'm with BB on that one, and I get tired driving 56 miles :) let alone ride a bike that far. Great job!

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BREWMASTERBILL 7/11/2010 8:10PM

    Maybe I'm too easy, but I'm sufficiently impressed that you swam 1.2 miles. I swam a mile in high school and the scars still exist. That's just exhausting.

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SEYMOORE 7/11/2010 7:01PM

    Wow!! I'm impressed, very inspiring!!! Congrats on your achievement!!!

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SIGLED 7/11/2010 6:58PM

    You did SUPER! You come away from the experience being able to say: I DID IT! Both the swim and the bike ride.

What a super time on your bike: 14 mph average!! That ain't nothing to sneeze at Kiddo!

A clean conscience for sure! With mind, body and soul cleansed.

Don't know much about the swimming. But I sure wouldn't mind having the swim after my 60 mile ride next weekend in hot, humid and windy Kansas!!! Woo! Hoo! emoticon

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AMBUDMAN 7/11/2010 6:16PM

    emoticon

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CALGALFOX 7/11/2010 6:06PM

    It's great that you did it and good it's behind you because kayaking is awesome - if that's what turns your crank then I say crank it up!

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GAILWINDS1 7/11/2010 5:59PM

    You are amazing just doing it and doing it to the best of your ability-there is no way I could bike 56miles!!
really good!!

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YICHE12 7/11/2010 5:39PM

    Atta go! Job well done.

Unfortunately, these sort of things do happen in races... You should be proud of yourself.

emoticon emoticon

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1.2 miles of swimming, followed by 56 miles on a bike...

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Today my childhood friend Judy raced in the mini-Musselman (sprint) triathlon (2:05:25). She flew out here from CA with her kids just to do this race with me.

www.musselmantri.com/

Tomorrow is the half-iron race. Fortunately the race organizers have included an abbreviated version called an "Aquabike" that only involves the 1.2 mile swim and 56 mile bike ride. We essentially get to skip the half-marathon at the end.

I opted for the "Aquabike" because my knee arthritis is so bad I simply cannot run (or even walk) reasonable distances. This is why I enjoy kayaking, swimming, cycling, weight lifting, etc.

For grins I've defaced my bike jersey. Given how slow I am in the water and the fact that I'm in the second-to-last wave, I imagine that most people will not see it, since they'll all be ahead of me. But so what? The spectators can see it, and I can enjoy just knowing it's written on there.
emoticon

Wish me luck tomorrow! If I finish under 5 hours or before the course closes I'll be thrilled. LOL

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 7/11/2010 9:22AM

    Love the defacement! And good luck, second to last wave isn't bad! My ski race I was in the last wave both years, and finished...

Have a great race! emoticon emoticon

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BREWMASTERBILL 7/11/2010 8:42AM

    Holy crap, awesome arm definition. Oh, and good luck :)

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FISHING88 7/11/2010 8:11AM

    That is an awesome way to celebrate your success on your journey! Good luck!

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CARRIE1948 7/11/2010 7:49AM

    You are such an inspiration.

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KAYAKKIM 7/11/2010 6:42AM

    I can't wait to hear how you did!

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BAYBELIEVER 7/10/2010 3:59PM

    Love the shirt! That is awesome! Flaunt it! Can't wait to hear how you did! I'll be thinking of you!

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19 Waterways

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Well.

As of this past Saturday evening I have now paddled 19 different rivers/creeks.

The most recent were the Hudson river
www.americanwhitewater.org/content/R
iver/detail/id/1321/

and the Sacandaga
www.americanwhitewater.org/content/R
iver/detail/id/1400/

...both of which are fed by scheduled dam releases, which are very convenient!

Not sure what will be #20, or even when; I have a friend coming to visit and will be doing a triathlon with her this coming weekend and traveling with her the following weekend. So I'll be out of the boat(s) for a while. I may even end up with kayaking withdrawal... LOL

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYAKKIM 7/9/2010 6:52AM

    Way to go on 19 waterways! We have 3 lakes and one river on our frequent list, but I have never tried to track all the water ways I have paddled on...you have certainly got me thinking though...just in our area alone I have been on at least 5 different lakes and two rivers. I have paddled in Florida, La, Ca (northern and southern), Wy, Texas, Wisconson, DC, Va, West Va, Delaware, Maine, AZ, Canada, Germany, Czech republic and more states I am probably not thinking of now. I have driven cross country 3 times and usually tried to camp on lakes that I could paddle on. Sounds like we have a lot in common- except that I prefer lake paddling now that I have a family!

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AFM-SPARK 7/7/2010 3:23PM

    Wow! I want to learn to kayak. A Meetup.com group I belong to does it, so does Washington Woman Outdoors. I hope to try it soon.

-A

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RAINBOWFALLS 7/7/2010 8:48AM

    Super job! It looks like fun and a great way to cool off in this horrible heat wave we are having.

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CARRIE1948 7/7/2010 6:57AM

    Sounds interesting.

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DRASADAF 7/7/2010 2:21AM

    oh wow must have gr8 experience...i too want to do it ...not sure how...

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DDOORN 7/6/2010 11:34PM

    You're just out there nailing any / every waterway you can! Love it!

Hey, which triathalon are you doing...? Local? I'm forgetting when the Broome Co. one is...

Have a GREAT TIME!

Don

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THEWEIGHTSOVER 7/6/2010 7:48PM

    Wow, that looks like a lot of fun. I can't wait to kayak, but I think I may stick to the gentle kind,, not white water. lol. And a triathalon this weekend. What a Warrior! YOu rock.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 7/6/2010 6:29PM

    Wow! You are really "making tracks" down all these waterways!

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BESTSUSIEYET 7/6/2010 5:46PM

    I see quite a difference between your kayaking and my recent (1st ever) time in a kayak -- on a quiet inland sea area -- far from waves, rocks, etc. But it sure was fun and we saw some beautiful sights. Enjoy your waterways with the thrills!! God Bless You on your Journey to Health!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 7/6/2010 5:22PM

    Most of my paddling buddies own their boats. You can get a pretty decent used one for $400-$500.

Having said that, my most frequent kayaking buddy borrows his boat(s) from the university outing club, since they have some decent ones, he's a skilled paddler, the boats they have happen to fit him OK, and because he's currently unemployed (which is probably the biggest factor, LOL). He does own his own paddle & PFD and is planning to get his own helmet soon.

Comment edited on: 7/6/2010 5:26:49 PM

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BREWMASTERBILL 7/6/2010 5:13PM

    OK, dumb question time. Is it typical to rent or own the kayak?

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I don't have to choose.

Friday, June 25, 2010

This was originally written as a response to one of GEE-KNEE's blog posts
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3359587


But I've thought about it since I wrote it, and finally decided it deserved its own post status.

I've been less than thrilled about my 15 or so lb gain from my lowest weight in March.

A few days ago I revisited a video of myself in a pool session, practicing a kayak roll at the end of February.
picasaweb.google.com/ww5dlm/Pool#544
3452593334932178


And I thought about how I was lighter back then, with a lower % body fat. And I watched that feeble roll and realized something.

If I could have all this weight and fat back off to where I was in that video but have to trade my kayaking skills, I wouldn't do it. Because I love kayaking, and there's no way I'd be running the rivers I'm doing now without the skills I've gained since that movie was shot.

And then yesterday I had another epiphany. There's no reason that has to be a choice. Summer just started. Kayaking continues comfortably through September. I know how to lose 15 lbs, and I know how to lose the last 5 after that.

I can have BOTH my kayaking skills, AND the body I want. So I'm gonna. Because the only thing stopping me is ME.

And here's an even cooler deadline. Why not see if I can get my physicsdiet.com weighted moving average back down to a healthy BMI (under 160) by the one year anniversary of when I first set foot in a whitewater boat? July 25.


Here's me last weekend, running a class III+ rapid ( "Garberator") on the Ottawa river in Canada
wikipaddle.org/wiki/Ottawa_River


What a difference, eh? More photos here
www.flickr.com/photos/4791149
4@N06/sets/72157624214953247/show/with
/4727496058/


Why NOT celebrate by giving myself back the body I want, AND have the skills to go with it?!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSSN4FITNESS 7/2/2010 1:38PM

    You are right! Don't trade in one goal for another! You know how to do this and you have shown your strength and determination. The rest is simple, if not easy. Good luck with all of your goals!

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STEVIECAT4 7/2/2010 12:47PM

    Hey!! I just dropped you a comment on your sparkpage and then came to read this blog. I have a similar goal...to get to my goal by my one year anniversary in August.

I see that our two great minds still do think alike!!!!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/26/2010 10:57PM

    LOL. You sound frustrated, not whiny.

Good equipment that fits is really important. The boat should be snug but comfortable. REALLY snug. But not uncomfortable.

There are paddling-specific PFDs that allow plenty of freedom of movement. They even have gender-specific ones for paddling. LOL

And yeah the spray skirt should not have holes except the ones that attach to you and the boat...

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GRACEFULIFE 6/26/2010 9:50PM

    I'm not convinced they had any boats that were large enough volume for either my weight OR my size at the time. It always felt to me like the boats rode way too low in the water (and getting my thighs in... ugh). But maybe I was just always worried due to the intentional instability of the thing? Hard to enjoy something when you never feel at all safe. Honestly even now while I'm smaller I feel only marginally smaller and doubt I'd fit well still into the club boats. Maybe after I extend this period of weight loss a few months - and surely the stretching and yoga I've invested in will help some with the boat entry problems.

I was also going to write earlier, but was in a rush, that I think the PFD barely fit around my chest and belly as well as being old-school giant pads - good ones that are well fit MUST be more compact and allow better freedom of movement, right? Right? PLEASE tell me I'm right, for god's sake.

Oh yeah. Then there's the silly highly feathered paddle thing. And the fact that it'd be nice to have a hole-free spray skirt that fits well and isn't falling apart at the seams. *sigh*

Am I ranting or whiny? Because seriously if I am whiny or ranting too much just let me know. Heh.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/26/2010 10:56AM

    Wow that does sound pretty horrible. It should be fun even if you swim. It's pretty ballsy of you to even consider giving another shot, after that!

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GRACEFULIFE 6/26/2010 9:13AM

    I heard from a third party that I did score good points with the group by not swimming since recovery slows the trip down so much. But I bet I didn't score any points with my attitude. I was already wasted tired just from the pool session before (never should have gone on the river anyway), the paddle wasn't working for me, I felt completely unstable in the kayak, and it turned out the water shoes I had been loaned were a half size or so too small which got painful. I don't know if it was a weight thing or a boat fit thing or a flexibility thing or what but eventually I couldn't feel my legs so I had to get out of the boat a couple times. And when we ended the trip, the guy who pulled my boat up on shore to help me get out told me I should go on a diet. I already was, but at that time I didn't really know how to do it. So now I am close to having it worked out from all angles. Still, it was one of the final straws for me over the last few years before I more-or-less screamed "ENOUGH!" and decided to get this done.

And no, going over (under those conditions) was NOT fun. Waiting for the rescue was one of the harder things I'd done in a long time. And I choose to NOT go on moving water until I can roll moderately solidly in the pool. Doing otherwise doesn't make any sense to me, and I felt that if I had had an organized instruction program I may have been able to roll already at that point (having been to several pool sessions). Again, I may give that club another shot but I suspect I'd do better in an organized class environment if I can find one.

Also, I want to get certain equipment of my own. I'm sure a purchased PFD would be much MUCH better than any of the club ones, for example. I don't know why there was never any practice in PFDs and helmets in the pool, because wearing those it was a completely different deal than "free" in the pool.

Comment edited on: 6/26/2010 9:19:26 AM

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DDOORN 6/26/2010 8:30AM

    Love the pics, love the goal!

And heck YES, you can DO IT! :-)

Don

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/26/2010 7:39AM

    It's 7.7 lbs according to Physics Diet.

I can lose 7.7 lbs in a month. Definitely.

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CARRIE1948 6/26/2010 7:37AM

    You've convinced me. That's about a month. You can lose that much in such a short time? Good luck

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/25/2010 6:24PM

    So you already know how fun it is! LOL

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GRACEFULIFE 6/25/2010 6:21PM

    Yeah, I got eskimo rescued after both Delhi and Tubbs.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/25/2010 5:39PM

    LOL.

The "So there" was directed at the river.

And technically I suppose I didn't run *through* Buseater since it's a hole; I went *around* it, like you're supposed to. But if you call the whole rapid surrounding the hole "Buseater" then you can say I "ran" it.

Bad Stalker, not keeping up with me! I might start to feel unappreciated if you slack off! hahaha

Hope you enjoy the pool sessions. I think you should try and get out onto some easy class II rapids this summer just for fun while it's warm out and you won't mind swimming...

Here's a nice one, and it's running!
http://www.americanwhit
ewater.org/content/River/detail
/id/3801/#zzqq861pdoqqd13RiverM
ainGadget19

Betcha that local club would be happy to bring you out there for some fun. If it wasn't so far and if my weekends weren't so full, I'd come right out there myself and drag your sorry @$$ onto the river. LOL Quit putting the fun things off. Life is Short.
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Comment edited on: 6/25/2010 5:52:29 PM

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GRACEFULIFE 6/25/2010 5:35PM

    Haha, I love that story, and it's super cool that you ran through Buseater even if it wasn't much that day. I'll have to look at more of the pictures from the trip - I haven't been keeping up with you that much lately.

And what's up with this "so there" action? I was merely trying to demonstrate to DS what you meant by "more often than not the RIVER will be happy to spank you. HARD. lol"

Oh, BTW, one thing I forgot to write in my P90X phase 3 log is that I can tell during the plyo workout that I am actually developing functional hamstring flexibility. I'm going to consider attending pool sessions again in the fall because I think I will be able to physically be there in a way that I simply could not last time I tried. Not that I'm at all sure it's my thing, but heck I figure I should give it a proper try.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/25/2010 3:47PM

    @GL
Um, you DO realize that "Buseater" is directly downstream of me (out of frame) in the photo from last weekend?

What you can see is the tongue of water leading into "Garberator." (That is the Canadian term for "garbage disposal," by the way, in case you didn't know.) In this picture I'm trying to steer to the right of it, but I got sucked in and it surfed me, which was a pretty amazing experience.
http://www.flickr.co
m/photos/47911494@N06/472685308
5/in/set-72157624214953247/


Buseater is next if you survive Garb. Actually it's even more there if you DON'T survive Garb.

LOL

Technically it wasn't "in" though, since the river was low ( -1.25)
I'm not sure at what level it does show up, but it's listed as there at "high." The gauge goes all the way to 13 but I didn't see water marks on it above 12 or so.

At the level I ran it you just had to get through Garb's wave train (either right-side-up or getting yourself back right-side-up) and then make sure you didn't hit the ugly little hole on the left or the littler one on the right. I suspect when the water is bigger that pair of holes are the ones referred to as "buseater" and "minibuseater."

In fact, Saturday evening when I was too pooped to roll back up in the wave train and swam, I actually swam between them. While holding onto my gear.

It wasn't until I started getting washed farther downstream that I let go of my boat and paddle and started the Long Swim - because apparently the next thing was Push Button, and that would have NOT been a fun swim.

My companions were standing on the shore hollering, "Drop your stuff! Swim! SWIM!!!" LOL

Fortunately there were people paddling back up river to go home who collected my paddle and boat. I was glad I've been training for open water swimming, because no joke, that was a LONG SWIM.

But I swam it the whole way without assistance, and carried my gear back up to the car when I arrived.

And slept Real Well that night. And got up the next morning and paddled the main channel. Without any swims and only three rolls.

So there.

Comment edited on: 6/25/2010 6:00:16 PM

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GRACEFULIFE 6/25/2010 3:24PM

    Now children, can you say "trashed in a hole"? Good, now how about "swimming for your life"?

http://www.youtube.co
m/watch?v=XT8bVhevTv8

ht
tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx
dTh2Ect4w

http://www.you
tube.com/watch?v=0OZLk14Nwd4

And then there's the big dogs: Bus Eater http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qidw
jriyi_o


Comment edited on: 6/25/2010 3:30:36 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/25/2010 3:15PM

    @DS
I'd like to see you try and kick me while I'm in a boat, floating down a river. LOL

But seriously, getting a nice boot up the butt now and then to remind me of these lofty goals is always helpful.
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And come to think of it, if you're NOT in shape and don't have the moves, more often than not the RIVER will be happy to spank you. HARD. lol

Comment edited on: 6/25/2010 3:15:27 PM

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DANSTOUT 6/25/2010 3:05PM

    Sounds like an excellent plan, No kick me signs needed.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/25/2010 3:00PM

    @BMB
LOL. OK, paddling in general. I wasn't sure.

But, yeah. I really do like it. I want to keep doing it. I want to get better at it.
Which, as GL points out, is ultimately consistent with dropping my %BF.

Speaking of which, since I have a 63-mile charity bike ride tomorrow, I'll just do strength training tonight and skip the cardio.

I have also been battling a minor chest cold that arrived around Tuesday, so I took yesterday off and just went home and slept.

Sunday I'm planning to go play in boats with friends. I'll bring a little grill and we'll make spiedies.

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BREWMASTERBILL 6/25/2010 2:45PM

    Kayaking!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/25/2010 2:28PM

    @GL
Yes, "150" is a lazy shorthand way of referring to how I feel when my PD average is between 147 and 153. But really I'd like my %BF to get back down around 17-18% The two are generally correlated, however, which is why I continue with the "150 lbs"

And you're right, the two things aren't mutually exclusive. If I'm stronger and fitter I'll paddle better. It just somehow started negatively correlating in my mind because as I spent more time in boats I seemed to be gaining fat.

@JESPAH
I love the image of the Banquet of Life. I just need to find the place setting with my name on the card, and figure out which of those fingerbowls is mine. LOL

@BMB
Um, which motivator are you referring to?

@ Carrie, SYSADMIN, and Fishing
Thanks for the good wishes and support. It means a lot to me.

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GRACEFULIFE 6/25/2010 2:17PM

    Another reason you shouldn't have to choose is that the kayaking skills you have now aren't entirely separable from your weight. Obviously they are somewhat separable since you are doing more in the boat even as you have gained a bit back. But you know there is a limit, and if you gain too much back you will be less effective on the river.

Also, I don't know exactly what your reasons were for wanting to be 150, but it seems to me that a relentless focus on an arbitrary weight may not be the best. You obviously care more about your kayaking skills, which aren't hurt too much by a bit of weight (or at least not in a way that is obvious now as you improve). However body fat percentage is probably directly relatable to kayaking performance, so you could concentrate on that and try to pound it down even if it means you weigh a little more. And I'm not sure if you track measurements, but if size is your concern then why not measure directly?

Just some of my thinking lately. I can't give up weight yet (and plan to never do so entirely) but I am thinking that eventually I will be more concerned with other measures than weight. I already stated in a blog entry a while ago that I cared about other things than exactly where my weight ended up.

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FISHING88 6/25/2010 2:09PM

    You are doing an awesome job of thinking things through and challenging yourself! I believe you can do it!

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BREWMASTERBILL 6/25/2010 1:41PM

    Ahhh ... the motivator. Love it.

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SYSADMN 6/25/2010 12:45PM

    Cool! I'll bet you CAN do it. It's all a matter of time management, and more importantly, attention management. We seem to find the time and focus to get those things we want badly enough.

Go for it!

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JESPAH 6/25/2010 10:09AM

    It's a different kind of banquet. Instead of getting chocolate cake and bread pudding, you're getting mastery of a pretty amazing freakin' skill and health.

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GRACEFULIFE 6/25/2010 9:21AM

    That picture of you on class III whitewater is pretty darn cool. And I like this attitude. I know you can do this, and I know you can keep it stable too.

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THEEXERCISER 6/25/2010 9:11AM

    Good luck with your goals

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