Saturday, March 19, 2011
When I first joined SP, in typical "overachiever" mode I decided to go for 100 SparkPoints a day - just like in the old days in school when 100 was a perfect score.
However I am learning it's more important to DO than to "keep learning" as it were.
So from here on out, I'm going to aim for 100 in fitness minutes instead.
Just like wearing a pedometer and working up to 10,000 steps a day will improve our health, getting more active CONSISTENTLY will impact my weight loss efforts.
I have learned that SP encourages us to track cardio workouts as our fitness minutes. Tracking other "routine" activities is not actively promoted because they are considered part of our basal metabolic rate - the calories burned daily in routine living. So I won't look for ways to add housework and so forth anymore, just assume those are bonus activities.
This month my TOTAL fitness minutes are half of my SparkPoints (11,000 to 22,000).
From here on out, I'll try to increase the percentage of my SparkPoints that are fitness minutes
(we can earn up to 24 SparkPoints a day for 120 minutes of activity).
With my "new and improved" attitude and approach, I expect the scale to cooperate.
"Move it to lose it."
Saturday, March 12, 2011
First, a disclaimer. If you want to do a triathlon or any distance event,
PLEASE TRAIN for it.
You will both feel more confident going into the day, and enjoy yourself more.
This event was held in my father’s hometown, so I had an incentive to participate even though it was an hour and a half away from home. When I arrived for the prerace orientation, the show of hands for first timers and relay participants was impressive. I managed to follow the bike and run directions after dark to familiarize myself with the course.
For dinner, I opted for Mexican. Because I wanted to arrive at the venue early, I picked up some Greek yogurt for breakfast.
I wanted to get lots of photos, but discovered I need a new camera – hopefully in the future!
So got up this morning and had to scrape frost off my windshield! Really?! What did I sign myself up for? Made it to the site nice and early and set up my transition area. Getting marked makes one feel official, even when your real age is evident to the world. I decided not to compete as an Athena because they were truly competitive, and I was out simply to finish.
My personal goal for the day was to finish and the time I had in my head was under an hour and a half. Since it was super short, there were 8 year olds participating. I am trying to imagine how proud would I have been of myself to complete any triathlon at that age.
The pool swim…let’s just say it was not my cup of tea. I finished but couldn’t bear to run barefoot, dripping and freezing to the transition area, so I had a small towel and my socks and shoes near the exit and put the shoes on before I headed across the first mat. Someone called my name, but I just thought they had the list of bib numbers – turns out it was my cousin who had come to cheer me on!
Swim to bike transition took time because I had to dress. Then out to the mount line and off on the course. No music, nothing to set my cadence to or gauge my speed, so I had to find another focus. David Goggins became my inspiration again. I remembered he ran on the painted line on the street in the desert races to keep his shoes from melting. It also is the smoothest part of the road. So where possible, I rode the line.
As people passed heading back, I’d cheer them on. Mostly, I was riding by myself. I kept saying, “just 30 minutes, like two laps around the block at home.” So I didn’t stop, but I did have to walk one hill. Normally the bike is my best event. I miss my racing bike with the clip in shoes!
So bike finished, it is back to transition and I decide to keep the shirt on for the inspiration on the back. "LAST is just the slowest WINNER" I’m just going to finish, not win an age group award, so my role is to encourage others. My fanny pack with my bib is full of jelly beans, and I grab a nutrition drink for energy. Wish I could have grabbed my playlist and earbuds, but I’m following the rules. Then it is off for the final leg.
The course overall was really FLAT, but when you’ve never tried it you don’t give your best effort. Also, even though the police made sure we had the right of way at intersections and turns, there were cars on the course. The run was through downtown, and there were some (ahem) senior citizens who I wondered if they even could see us, much less were aware there was an event in progress. A good incentive to pick up the pace and get back to the side street!
So down the last hill and up to the finish line, where they call your name and city (at least for me, I was from out of town). A new friend I made helped me unstrap the timing chip, and then I got to hug my cousin. I was glad to be done (and be alive, LOL!) Seriously, it wasn’t bad, it just would have been better if I had trained more.
My Garmin recorded an average of 10 miles per hour on the bike (max 22mph) and over 1000 calories burned. Average heart rate was 155.
Final official total time was within my goal – 1 hour 25 minutes and change.
And I wasn’t last.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Well, it's been a decade since I did a triathlon.
Rather than try to drive a couple of hours in the very early morning, then shake my legs awake, I've opted to drive down today, review the course, and get a good night's sleep at the hotel.
Race check-in begins at 6am Saturday with start time at 8am. I gave them the super SLOW swim estimate, so I won't be surprised if I am the last person into the pool, which means there will be no one to bike or run with, either.
Oh well, as I put on my race shirt "LAST is just the slowest WINNER."
Super short, do-able, and almost here!
So I am setting out my clothes (plan to swim in my sport bra and bike shorts, then towel dry and add layers), thinking about the transitions, and take deep breaths to stay calm and not freak out
Looking forward to seeing my cousins as a bonus tomorrow.
Then back home to do my hair
Don't forget we "spring ahead" and lose an hour Saturday night!
BUT FIRST - GO TAR HEELS! MARCH MADNESS IS HERE
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I read with interest the recent Daily Spark blog about how "dieters" who used apps had better success than those who wrote their food log on paper, possibly because there was more feedback. I love feedback. It helps me make course corrections along the way, rather than once I reach a destination.
So I was thinking today about how am I using my food tracker to the best of my ability. One of my downfalls in going over my daily calorie count includes unplanned snacks. At what point, I wondered, does a snack become grazing, where you are just eating and piling on the calories?
And I decided it was when the snack is unplanned, hasn't been written down and accounted for BEFORE you eat it. Some are habits - like my salty popcorn at night to prevent me from eating a sweet snack. But it's a mindless habit, not a planned snack. So that gives me the abiliity to make changes, to improve.
And by tweaking my menus, I'll be more successful.
Hope you are having a great day, and staying on track with everything.
Let's do this!
Friday, March 04, 2011
I am a VIP blood donor, and recently was informed with my next donation, I will cross the 4 gallon mark. That's 8 pints per gallon and each pint can help 3 people... (drum roll) 96 people helped!
So here's a link to 56 reasons to donate blood (1 tip for each day between potential donations) and hoping you will also consider helping to save a life.
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