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LDRICHEL's Recent Blog Entries

Ironman Louisville: 112 Mile Bike (Part 2 of 4)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012



Hubby and I had to walk ½ mile from our parking garage to the start of the Ironman Sunday morning. This transition area was the first sign of Ironman on our trek to the swim start. It was my first moment of sheer awe in a day that would consistently challenge my perceptions of the human body's limits and the colossal power of an individual's will and determination.

After the murder of the 2.4 mile swim, athletes climbed out of the water and ran to a tent to change into their biking gear and prepare for the 112 mile ride in front of them. No doubt, they were concurrently changing clothes, maybe eating and drinking, putting on sunscreen, securing helmets - all in a matter of minutes.

Then, they had to run out and locate their bike, among thousands…and get it over to the Bike Start Line.





We were pretty close to the start, so we could see the athletes' bodies transition from the swim to the bike. Most of them were still wet from the swim and, as they rode by me, I could see the muscles in their arms still twitching from their 2.4 mile battle in the water.





We watched several of the athletes take off onto the bike course and then we had to get in our car and drive to the Bike Viewing Area, which we assumed would be nearby. But, it was actually a small town that was a half hour drive each way from the actual race start. Wow. As we drove, we noticed that we were in some hilly terrain and we felt sorry for the bikers. We also decided that, as they were going for a leisurely 5-6 hour bike ride, we might as well get our hash brown casserole on at Cracker Barrel. I mean, we hadn’t even had breakfast yet. We had been up for 5.5 hours and it was just 9:00am.

After breakfast, we got to the viewing area just as the athletes were beginning to pass in full force. This area was both Mile 40 and Mile 70 of their ride. We got there pretty early, so they were just coming up on Mile 40.





Those bikes were FLYING! So fast, so perfectly smooth, so beautiful. I must have watched hundreds go by and never tired of it. Have you ever seen a time trial bike? Those babies can cost upwards of $5,000. As we stood at the Transition Area earlier gazing at the thousands and thousands of bikes, I thought, "Can you IMAGINE how much money is in this little square of land? WOW!"

When you see it up close, hear the whir from its wheels, feel the wind as it whisks past you and see the athlete and the bike working together as one, there is something that happens to you. I jokingly thought to myself, “Leah, there are literally hundreds of perfectly formed, gorgeous bodies passing in front of you and you are lusting after their BIKES?!” I can’t explain myself. I just know what I felt and if feeling that way is a crime, then lock me up!

Look at them…







*Drool* Mmmm. Oh…sorry. OK, back to the race? Yeah. Sorry.

So, after watching for awhile, we walked around this little tiny town for a bit, looked in some shops, but we thought, “You know, this is going to go on for another 3-4 hours. Let’s go have lunch.” So we drove BACK the half hour to the actual race area/finish line and decided to scout out a restaurant for lunch. The funniest part is…I felt like we’d JUST had breakfast, even though several hours had passed. And, before the swim start, we heard a guy telling his friend, “It’s like a whole day of eating, with a little bit of athletics mixed in.” Well, at the time, I assumed he was talking about the athletes. But, at lunch, it hit me that he was talking about being a spectator! Ha! It is SO true! Because, in between legs of the race/finishes, what else IS there to do but eat and shop? Haha. Consequently, maxed out my credit card that day…but it was worth it.

We had lunch at a nice Irish pub. At the end of our meal, I received a text from my friend, Francie, telling me that her hubby, Joe, was off the bike and had just started the marathon. We originally went to watch Joe compete and cheer him on and we never once saw him until he crossed the finish line. Even then, we weren’t able to catch him and talk to him, but we did get some great pictures for Francie of him crossing the finish line.

Back to the biking portion of the race: many of the athletes were on their bikes for at least 5 hours…some, or most, would be on them longer. As we did with the swim, put yourself in an athlete’s place on the bike. You are bent over riding for over FIVE HOURS. You are sometimes riding in a pack at ridiculous speeds going downhill, where a collision could easily occur if you don’t communicate well or alert the other riders to your presence. There are fans at Mile 40 and Mile 70 that make you want to keep going. You catch a glimpse of your country’s flag. Pedal harder. But, gosh, you’re so tired. That swim just took it out of you. Eat something! Drink something! But do not get off of that bike! And, when you’re done with this…when you can finally stand upright again (assuming you CAN stand upright), you just have to run a measly little 26.2 miles to finally reach your goal of Ironman.

So, are you ready for a nice little jog in 93 degree Kentucky heat? I’ll cover that next in Ironman Louisville: 26.2 Mile Run (Part 3 of 4)

*All photos copyrighted 2012: Scott Drichel Photography

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 8/29/2012 9:22PM

    Oh dear. You are totally in the grip of Ironman & triathlon. Welcome to Crazytown. The good news is if you do all your workouts, you get to eat all you want.

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MINSOSTER 8/29/2012 6:43PM

    I'm with you. . . those bikes are very worthy of DROOL!

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LINDAKAY228 8/29/2012 2:03PM

    We have a major bike racing event here in Silver City, NM each year the first of May called the Tour of the Gila. It's a 5 day even with races to different areas around here, an up and down a lot of mountainous area. Then on Saturday its the criterian down through the middle of town with first the professionals, then the civilian races they call it with all different age groups from kids on up. It amazesme the way those packs can navigate the streets and not have a lot of accidents because they are going so fast around corners and the streets are simple streets with one lane in each direction so it's a crowded pack. An the mountain courses and how they can race for miles up and down such elevation changes amazes me.
Great sharing of the event and how it went. Is the friend Francie you mentioned the one who wrote the book whose husbands name is Joe? I'm still reading it. It's a great book.

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PATTISTAMPS 8/29/2012 1:00PM

    Very cool! Those bikes are so amazing!

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KATHY_NATURELVR 8/29/2012 12:22PM

    Wow - I couldn't imagine.

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 8/29/2012 8:08AM

    Those bikes really are beautiful. I am still riding the 10-speed road bike my dad got me when I was 14, lol! It is just AMAZING the athleticism that is required for the Ironman. I can't imagine feeling mentally and physically ready to take on such a phenomenal task. Wow!

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HOLLY255255 8/29/2012 7:11AM

    You need to post the last finisher's results.... I think your writing may be inspiring some of us to go for it!!

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SLIMLEAF 8/29/2012 6:25AM

    Reading your blog is almost as good as being there myself!

I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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LORELLELAURA 8/29/2012 3:57AM

    great report!
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REGILIEH 8/29/2012 12:27AM

    Loved it! I felt I was there with you! What fun!

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CORINA-MOMOF4 8/28/2012 11:33PM

    can't wait until Dec - for our 19th wedding anniversary we're getting road bikes! Next year we'll be doing our first Duathlon! Can't wait!!!

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KIPPER15 8/28/2012 10:39PM

    emoticon fantastic job with the photos!!

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GOING-STRONG 8/28/2012 10:39PM

    Wow... you are quite the reporter! Those bikes are very cool.. great photos!

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ON2VICTORY 8/28/2012 10:26PM

    Leah, you have taken some seriously fantastic photos. I mean like photos I would expect to see in Triathlete magazine.... very good job.

I can tell from your writing that you were really affected by the event...

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JUNEAU2010 8/28/2012 10:05PM

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing - this may be the closests\ I ever get to those fabulous bikes!

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SNOWYOGA 8/28/2012 9:44PM

    Wow! emoticon emoticon

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FRANCIEVW 8/28/2012 9:26PM

    It's fun to watch your inspiration unfold. Makes me wanna do one :)

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SWEETEYES0601 8/28/2012 9:19PM

    What an amazing experience to witness. I'm glad it was there for you to appreciate. I have a co-worker who has done her first Ironman race and it wore her out for two days afterwards. WOW! Great post!

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SSHANTI 8/28/2012 9:04PM

    Wow, amazing. I've never been up close and personal to an Iron like this, your post gave me that ringside seat. And yeah, I'd have been drilling over the rides too. Though to be honest I had enough trouble spending $500 dollars on my ride, let alone ten times that. But I know what a difference a good bike can make. Today I did a half century on mine. And I seriously doubt I was going anything near as fast as them. But it was 3 hours and 48 minutes well spent for me. First time in over two decades that I did a ride that long. Made me happy.

Thanks for sharing your Iron experiences with us, you are awesome!

Sam

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/28/2012 9:00PM

    Amazing. That is some race! SO inspiring. emoticon emoticon

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FITFOODIE806 8/28/2012 8:57PM

    The bikes are so pretty!!! Glad you had such a good time.
In those tents are 1000s of volunteers too. One is assigned to each athlete and they are the ones that usually put sunscreen on the athlete's back while they are eating/changing. It's an expensive race, but you are well taken care of!

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HBLACK5 8/28/2012 8:12PM

    Wow that is incredible!

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CINDHOLM 8/28/2012 7:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 8/28/2012 7:22PM

    Just so you know...
I now feel OBLIGATED to respond to your blogs!
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PEGGYO 8/28/2012 7:14PM

    I feel like I'm watching with you. Thanks

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GUITARWOMAN 8/28/2012 6:30PM

    Am amazing commentary. You brought it all to life!


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LINDAK25 8/28/2012 6:23PM

    You really do have to have tremendous respect for these athletes! What an incredible test of strength and courage. I can't even conceive of doing something like this.

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GARDENSFORLIFE 8/28/2012 6:22PM

    Great blog! emoticon
Thanks for sharing and the pictures are wonderful! emoticon

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Ironman Louisville: 2.4 Mile Swim (Part 1 of 4)

Monday, August 27, 2012



On Sunday, my husband and I had set our alarms for 3:30am, in order to arrive in Kentucky in time to catch the start of Ironman Louisville 2012 - the 6:50am Pro Swim Start. We knew we were in for a long day, but never could have predicted that we would walk away from that race completely worn down physically, but more alive in spirit than we’ve been in a long time.

As it turns out, we did make it just in time for the Pro Swim Start. This was less exciting than I imagined it would be, as there were only a few pro athletes, so it was really kind of a non-event. The real fun began at 7:00am when the age groupers lined up and began to start jumping into the river.

There were about 3,014 athletes in this race – from every U.S. state and 26 countries. They began to line up on two docks. The first group hit the water and athletes continued to jump in non-stop for the next 40 minutes! My first thought was, “How can SO MANY people complete this difficult of a race?!” Amazing!



I was also struck by the fact that you could find every type of person in the lineup: skinny, chubby, young, old, man, woman, lean, muscular, fancy wetsuit, normal swim trunks.



The swim course was set up to where the athletes jumped in and swam along a tree line (which was actually a small island in the river) and then swam all the way around the other side of the island. So, by the time we saw them coming around the other side of the island, they had already swam about 2 miles. Then, they had to keep swimming another 0.4 miles to the finish, where they would transition to their bikes. This would mean a swim of at least an hour for most of the athletes. The official cut-off for the swim was 2 hours 20 minutes.



Most of us know how difficult it is to swim laps in a pool. But, unless you happen to be an Ironman yourself, I doubt any of us has experienced a swim of this magnitude in a dark river (without clear lane markers) with 3,000 other flailing bodies around you – possibly kicking you in the face, running into you, elbowing you. I know that when I swim, I begin to feel a bit panicked when I’m not getting enough air and that leads to me losing my form very easily. Much like a good run, a good swim demands a calm demeanor and a relaxed body. How in the world do these athletes achieve that physical state of calm in this type of atmosphere? A break in form can lead to serious pain for the entire rest of the race!

And, aside from the body mechanics, how much mental torture is there knowing that, once you finish this never-ending swim, you will be required to bike for 112 miles AND run a marathon? How does a person mentally block all that out and focus on the task at hand…swimming for over an hour?

Think that’s impressive? Oh, my friends, you have not seen anything yet! Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow: 112 Mile Bike.



*All photos copyrighted 2012: Scott Drichel Photography

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENIORSWIMMER 9/3/2012 12:28PM

    Great writing and pictures. I love swimming, but I hate to swim in open water. I can't imagine trying to swim with 3,000 people and trying to keep track of where you are in the water.

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MINSOSTER 8/29/2012 6:28PM

    Love your descriptions and pictures!

My brother-in-law attempted a tri-sprint a couple of years ago and did not do well. He had a panic attack in the water because he had never been in that situation before. After making it through the swim he was able to get going on his bike and ended up straining his hamstring badly enough that he had to stop. It took him the rest of the summer to recover from that. Next year he is going to give it a second shot.

Hope you recover from your injury with your PT and that the rest of your training goes well for the half. Looking forward to reading your blogs.

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 8/29/2012 8:06AM

    Wow! I can't imagine swimming in those conditions unless it was to save my life. That would be so stresful! I don't know how they do it.

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HOLLY255255 8/29/2012 7:06AM

    Love your post!!!

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CORINA-MOMOF4 8/28/2012 11:32PM

    emoticon

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KIPPER15 8/28/2012 10:41PM

    Wow, very good recap. Love the pictures.

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FRANCIEVW 8/28/2012 9:19PM

    Nice blog, Leah. I love the second to last photo, there, with a view up the river. Super! How fun that you shared this with your husband and you could both be inspired in your own ways!

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FITFOODIE806 8/28/2012 8:58PM

    ha! I just finished a blog about my own tri and you did a better job describing the open water swim than I did!!! You are a talented writer. And I have a feeling you're going to be a talented triathlete too!

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LINDAK25 8/28/2012 6:21PM

    Well, now you know you're going to have to get your breathing down!

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MSTWOMOONS002 8/28/2012 5:46PM

    Hi Leah;
Thanks for sharing this blog with us, sounds interesting & very motivating can hardly wait to read tomorrows exciting blog. Glad you enjoyed the experience, now your one step closer to the time you'll be out there with everyone else.
Take care & be well
Many Blessings Always Debby emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OFFICIALOLDY 8/28/2012 5:31PM

    Great blog and pictures, too! It was almost like being there - so exciting. I can't wait to read more. Thanks!

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FRANCES-AGAPE 8/28/2012 5:00PM

    emoticon WOW !

Definitely NOT for wimps like ME !


BLESSINGS!

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OPTIMIST1948 8/28/2012 3:37PM

    I just read a book about Ironman and they make it seem so ... doable. And then I regain consciousness.

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SNOWYOGA 8/28/2012 3:03PM

    That looks so cool, and the engery! emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 8/28/2012 2:22PM

    WOW! That must have been amazing to watrh! Cant wait to see the next chapter!

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MEH50BEWELL 8/28/2012 11:46AM

    Great recap - do you see an Ironwoman in your future ??

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KATHY_NATURELVR 8/28/2012 11:20AM

    That's just scary to me.

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LINDAKAY228 8/28/2012 11:12AM

    Great description! And I'm still reading that great book you recommended and from what I've read swimming in the open water is so totally different than swimming in the pool, even without that many people kicking you in the face. The water temp, what you can see, other factors like wind blowing the water and creating waves, etc. Plus that many people create a lot of waves just by being in there! I know I couldn't do it and admire those who do.
Looking forward to part 2!

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CINDHOLM 8/28/2012 10:42AM

    emoticon

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SHAWNY2 8/28/2012 9:33AM

    88 laps are you kidding me? I think I am doing great if I swim half that many laps. Amazing, totally amazing!

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WILDFLOWER521 8/28/2012 9:31AM

    I watched a celebrity triatholon on tv last night that featured one of the women from the biggest loser. It looked really hard, I can't even imagine the physical and mental preparation that an Ironman takes.

Thanks for the great pics! Glad you and your husband had such a wonderful experience. Can't wait to see the rest of your posts on this.

Comment edited on: 8/28/2012 9:34:59 AM

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NDKARIKARI 8/28/2012 9:19AM

    wow! this is a super interesting account, I look forward to the other 3 posts!

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PRETTYLILHEFFER 8/28/2012 9:02AM

    If you took those pics, you rock! They look like professionals! I cannot imagine swimming that long, and I like swimming! Maybe one day :D

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STHAX10 8/28/2012 8:47AM

    emoticon

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HBLACK5 8/28/2012 8:27AM

    Wow! That is a really long swim and it is only 1/3 of the race. The other day I commented that I don't like to swim, so I would not participate in a triathalon unless I was part of a team. Your blogs have really got me thinking that next summer it just might be something that I want to try and tackle.

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GARDENSFORLIFE 8/28/2012 7:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYO 8/28/2012 7:38AM

    Wow I didn't know they were so long

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SLIMLEAF 8/28/2012 7:37AM

    That's seriously impressive.

But then, so is you and your husband getting up in the middle of the night to go and watch!

Good effort!

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LIVEDAILY 8/28/2012 6:15AM

    I didn't know that about the Ironman competitions! Looking forward to learning more about them!

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ANDASI 8/28/2012 5:53AM

    Wow Thank you for breaking all this down i had no idea what it entailed. I am in ah about this. I cant even imagine doing this. Looking forward to the next chapter.

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ON2VICTORY 8/28/2012 5:49AM

    looking forward to the rest of your report with great intrest :)




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REGILIEH 8/28/2012 1:32AM

    Awesome report! I can't wait for each report! Thank you!

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BLUE42DOWN 8/28/2012 1:08AM

    Those pictures, I'm sure, don't even do justice to what it must have been like to see that many people swimming at once. Amazing.

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DIET_FRIEND 8/28/2012 12:17AM

    I thought YOU did the Ironman at first. It does seem like an extreme experience for those who like physically challenging experiences.

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GOSPARK45 8/28/2012 12:01AM

    Wow. That's amazing. So many people, how do they keep from drowning someone? That many people are in that kind of shape? I'd be blown away.

thanks for the report.

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/27/2012 11:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ISABELLE31 8/27/2012 11:39PM

    Thanks for sharing! :) I have tremendous admiration for triathletes!

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DENNETJ 8/27/2012 11:34PM

    I am so in awe of anybody who can do these things!

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Ironman Fever!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

This afternoon, I had swimming on my schedule. But, you guys, I just did not FEEL like going today. AT ALL. So, I said, "What's the big deal, Leah? One day of not swimming is not a big deal. Just skip it."

Well, that thought lasted for about one minute, because then I thought to myself, "Am I injured or overtired?" Well...no. "Is there some credible reason that I CAN'T do my swim workout today?" Grrr...no. "Haven't I done about a hundred runs that I didn't FEEL like doing, simply because I knew it was good for me? And wasn't that what got me in shape enough to finish a 7 mile run before this injury?" Well...yeah...but....fine, I'm going.

I did it again, folks. Swam 30 lengths in 30 minutes. Well, actually...in 28 minutes if you want to get TECHNICAL about it.
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So, today I had the shocking realization that my half marathon is only 6 weeks away. I had a minor mental panic attack, thinking about the miles I've been missing this month.

But that was quelled a bit by the fact that I passed 1,000 fitness minutes today. I had set a personal goal for myself of 1,000 crosstraining minutes in August (and, you know, with no running...ALL my fitness minutes are technically crosstraining). I have 1,003 minutes now and have an entire week left!!!

So, I've set a brand new goal....1500 fitness minutes for August. One week left to get 500 more. This is fairly significant for me because the most fitness minutes I ever logged in a month was when I did the Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge and that month I did 1200 minutes. What would it mean for me if I reached my all-time high for monthly fitness minutes in a month where I am injured? I don't think I can fully explain how much that would motivate me for my shortened half marathon training schedule.

By the time I finish with P/T and get back on the road, I will have about 4 weeks to train for a 13.1 mile race. My first 13.1 mile race ever. That's a daunting thought. But...my phsical therapist and I have discussed realistic expectations for the race and we both are in agreement that I will not be able to run the entire thing and I will walk quite a bit. Which is FINE. I prefer the Galloway run/walk method anyway. When I get the all clear to run, I'm going to experiment with 8 mins running/1 minute walking splits.

Frankly, I wonder if my 1500 minute goal is a bit too small? My husband and I are going to Louisville on Sunday to watch the Ironman race!!!



For those unaware, it is a 140.6 mile race - 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. You might remember my book review of "The Competitor In Me" by Francie Van Wirkus? Her husband is actually racing on Sunday, so I thought I'd go have a watch and cheer him on! A few Bloomington athletes racing it too. Should be a ton of fun! I anticipate quite a bit of walking, though. It's a long day (maybe 12 hours) so it's conceivable I could hit 2000 fitness minutes this month!!!! That's INSANE!!!!

Bet you can't wait for Monday'a blog!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYLADY12 8/28/2012 6:40PM

    There doing the Ironman I think in alcatraz San Francisco in September. Your inspiring me to go watch it.

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SHAWNY2 8/27/2012 11:33AM

    The individuals that participate in an Ironman totally amaze me. Can you imagine the endurance that they have inside of them? They are out there for hours doing extremely hard events one right after the other. I just can't imagine how hard it is. I would find myself extremely lucky to complete a 26.2 mile run let alone adding any other type of cardio to the mix.

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DENNETJ 8/27/2012 2:10AM

    Sounds like you are doing amazing so far. Keep up the great work!

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MSTWOMOONS002 8/26/2012 5:56PM

    Hi Leah;
I am so proud of you for talking to yourself strenly enough to go swim & meet your goal. I believe in you and whatever goal you set for yourself you can & will achieve. Great going for getting so many exercise fitness minutes. Your getting so strong.
You go girlfriend you can dream it and achieve it. emoticon emoticon emoticon
Many Blessings Always Debby emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TERID816 8/25/2012 9:58PM

    Woohoo!!! Welcome to Kentucky! emoticon

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CORINA-MOMOF4 8/25/2012 8:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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AMBER281 8/25/2012 7:40PM

    Way to go!!!

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4RASCALS 8/25/2012 3:22PM

    WAY TO GO LEAH ...NEVER QUIT... YOU NEVER CEASE TO AMAZE ME
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SHERYL_B 8/25/2012 2:41PM

    Good for you!

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LINDAKAY228 8/25/2012 12:30PM

    You are definitely on your way with that awesome swimming. By the way, I bought the book and have it on my Droid. I read it when I'm sitting places waiting. I'm really loving the book and thanks so much for the review that caused me to buy it.

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WARMSPRINGDAY 8/25/2012 8:11AM

    emoticon

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COLETTEISGREAT 8/25/2012 4:09AM

    I love how you managed to convince yourself / motivate yourself to swim! Brilliant words, and applicable for all of us!

Enjoy your time watching the Ironman race, and walking all day!!

And yes, I AM looking forward to Monday's blog!! emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/25/2012 12:07AM

    emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 8/24/2012 11:41PM

    Wow! Wow! emoticon

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LINDAK25 8/24/2012 10:35PM

    emoticon

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KIPPER15 8/24/2012 10:01PM

    Wow, I can't imagine a race like that. a 5 k is daunting to me. Inspiring.

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OPTIMIST1948 8/24/2012 9:33PM

    I just read a book about Ironman Arizona and the book totally gives you Ironman Fever. But then I remember. That's just crazytalk.

Says the resident of Crazytown (aka, what my sister calls the Triathlon community)

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SNOWYOGA 8/24/2012 8:57PM

    That sounds great emoticon Keep going! emoticon

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PEGGYO 8/24/2012 8:48PM

    you can do it.

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JUNEAU2010 8/24/2012 8:31PM

    WOW - I cannot imagine a race that long! I'll bet you'll set a record for steps tomorrow while you watch the race!

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GUITARWOMAN 8/24/2012 7:00PM

    Enjoy!

I'll look for your blog on Monday!


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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 8/24/2012 6:58PM

    Luv you crazy girl!!
Have fun this weekend!

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DR8561 8/24/2012 6:50PM

    You are amazing! Can't wait to hear how the ironman went. I've been reading Francine's book and feeling all motivated and here you go just adding to that! emoticon
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FALLNTENN 8/24/2012 6:45PM

    You are right, Leah, I can't wait to read your blog on Monday. Enjoy your weekend. emoticon

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REGILIEH 8/24/2012 6:30PM

    WTG!!!

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GODIVADSG 8/24/2012 6:27PM

    You are going to be so inspired! Enjoy the cheering!! emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 8/24/2012 6:13PM

    emoticon
Have a fantabulous weekend!

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FRANCIEVW 8/24/2012 5:32PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Leah. It can be so challenging sometimes to just do a simple workout. Once a person digs in, however, they usually find themselves coming out on the other side.

Congrats on upping the ante to 1500 minutes during August. I just know you will knock that goal out of the park.

I am also so happy to hear some of your friends are enjoying and are inspired by The Competitor in Me.

Here's to a terrific finish for August 2012!!! You'll love how you feel. We wanna hear all about it!

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KATHUGGS 8/24/2012 4:29PM

    I would love to go see an Ironman! That sounds like so much fun!

I actually bought "The Competitor in Me" because of you and I am loving it. It's so great to read from another mom's perspective on how to find a balance between the responsibilities of being a mom and finding time for yourself without guilt. It's exactly what I have been needing, so thank you for the recommendation!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILDFLOWER521 8/24/2012 3:57PM

    See. There you go again making lemonade out of lemons!

Hope you and your husband have a wonderful time!

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/24/2012 3:41PM

    That is EXACTLY the same thought process I went thru when I didn't think I could make my first 20-minute solid run from the Couch to 5K plan, LOL! Isn't it amazing what happens once you start pushing through those perceived barriers? Way to go--have fun watching the event!

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CINDHOLM 8/24/2012 3:30PM

    emoticonHave a GREAT weekend!!

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 8/24/2012 3:18PM

    Your fitness minutes are incredible Leah! Great job! I actually set a goal for myself this month for 1,000 fitness minutes and I should just reach it by the 31st. Yipee! We CAN Do It! Have a GREAT weekend!

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WUBBY82 8/24/2012 3:17PM

    I used to force myself to provide a credible reason to be able to skip a workout. My favorite is now: Leah works out enough for the both of us. I'll just sit here and chill :)

Love ya, girlie!!

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JOYCECAIN 8/24/2012 2:52PM

    You have been doing very well. Congratulations. You deserve it. I wish your husband and you the best. Go girl, go. lol

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HBLACK5 8/24/2012 2:50PM

    Have fun! Every summer there is an Ironman race that is only about 20 minutes from my house. I have never watched it, but one of my friends helps organize it.

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LEB0401 8/24/2012 2:50PM

    OMG girl.. you are another level!!! HARDCORE!!!

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GARDENSFORLIFE 8/24/2012 2:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DIANNEMT 8/24/2012 2:42PM

    My brother has done several Ironman competitions--I watched him via internet when he finished one--THAT was way cool. He finished just under 12 hours. He couldn't run from late Jan till May or June--and he is still ramping up to his "old" mileage (couldn't bend his knee so no bike and swim arms only) so he is not race ready yet--but he will be. He is nuts--but a nice kind of nuts!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

30 Lengths in 30 Minutes

Thursday, August 23, 2012

So, my blogs have been rather down in the dumps and mysterious the past few days. I'm happy to say that I've begun to come out of the over-emotional fog a bit and am adjusting to the "new normal" of my life.

Although I've been a bit out of sorts the past few days, don't think I've been neglecting my health, skipping workouts, moping around and eating vats of fried oil. I mean, if I'm being honest, there have been a couple small food indiscretions...but nothing major.

I just realized today that I have been in the pool ALMOST every single day since I received my non-weight bearing treatment sentence from my ortho. Most of my time in the water has been deep water exercise classes (sometimes challenging, but other times not...but, I figure, at least it's SOMETHING). I have actually only done a real lap swim four times.

Today was my 4th time. Although I'm still having MAJOR issues with figuring out breathing (I swim the freestyle crawl), I have been pleased with my form and technique - especially considering I learned by watching a video on YouTube! I haven't had any soreness or strained muscles or anything. But...I just can't get the breathing pattern down, for the life of me! Ugh! And I still have to stop every 100 meters to catch my breath.

My biggest challenge has been to control my appetite after a swim. Man, my body is burning through the calories, but it takes every last bit of willpower for me not to eat continuously for the entire rest of the day and night. It's been ROUGH in that department...which is probably why I've seen no loss yet.

You might remember that I did 22 lengths (length of a sprint triathlon) in 26 minutes a week or so ago. As much as I try to slow down (so I can breathe better), I just can't get my body to slow down. I, personally, think that it's easier for me to just fly through two lengths because the faster I do it, the faster it will be over. Today, I was WAY ahead of schedule and I had really wanted to get a full 30 mins in the pool. So, I thought, "You know...I could make a little challenge for myself...30 lengths in 30 minutes and see if I could do it." It seemed impossible. That's 1500 meters and let's remember that I can barely breathe.

Well, I had just finished 28 and I was at 29 minutes. I thought, "Nah...there's no way I can do down and back in just one minute!" But then I thought, "Dammit, I'm doing this!" Fastest lap of my life and I was just about dead by the end but I DID IT! HA!

Frankly, I have no clue if this is "good form" for triathlon training. I probably ought to be more focused on swimming continually for 30 minutes and not stopping...and slowing down and breathing and such. But, I honestly don't care too much about all that right now. I have at least a year before I even sign up for a sprint triathlon. I still have to learn how to ride a bike again. And I want to run several half marathons (and maybe a full marathon) before I go for a sprint triathlon. I would hope that, if I keep up with the swimming for a whole year, it would get easier. I mean, you'd think, wouldn't you?

And crosstraining in the pool and on the bike can only be a good thing for a serious runner. It will certainly give my ankle the breaks it needs...and I hope to drop some weight and lessen the likelihood of re-injuring my ankle.

When I think about the fact that none of this would have ever come about if I wouldn't have suffered that ankle pain a month ago...it's kind of interesting.

I found that this happened with my really huge accident and injuries a couple years ago (5 broken bones on the right side of my body). I came out of that accident, 3 months later, with a renewed appreciation for my kids and the basic blessings of being able to walk and move my arm and take a shower. I actually felt, at times, that the accident was the best thing that ever happened to me. We were broker than broke...but I spent so much time with my little ones and really got to know them. It was priceless time that I never would have taken on my own.

This injury, though smaller in magnitude, seems to be having the same effect. It's less about my kids this time, and more about my own personal health and my ability to sustain my lifestyle of fitness, no matter what happens. The fact that I've been able to put in almost 1,000 fitness minutes without my exercise of choice (running) is extremely significant and a huge confidence booster for me.

And I can guarantee...if this injury had not occurred and taken me off my feet, I never, in a million years, would have even considered triathlons.

Funny how life works out sometimes. How have "negative" circumstances turned out for good in your life?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROL494 9/5/2012 8:15PM

  emoticon emoticon

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ESME25 9/5/2012 10:57AM

    emoticon

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MANILUS 9/3/2012 9:30AM

    Great job, keep it up! I lost 187 through my 1st negative circumstance of an abusive relationship. It is amazing what we do when times are tough!

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SNOWYOGA 8/24/2012 8:56PM

    emoticonAnd keep going emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 8/24/2012 2:04PM

    Did you watch the Olympics? Did you watch how the freestyle swimmers breathe? They breathed on every stroke. That's hard to do if you're not conditioned, which is why you often have to stop to catch your breath. When I used to swim competatively, we were taught to swim and alternate sides for breathing, slowly blowing out our breath underwater so that you could really intake air when you next breathed. So if you dive in, and start swimming, left arm out,, turn, breathe, left, right, left, right breathe again, left, right left breathe..and so on. Try this and see if it helps.

Another thing...competative freestyle swimmers strength is almost all in their arms. They're pulling themselves through the water in freestyle, not kicking. It's different with breaststroke and butterfly, but in freestyle it's all chest/arm strength.

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LINDAKAY228 8/24/2012 12:55PM

    Congratulations on how far you've come with the swimming! You said this was your 4th time, which really isn't much to figure out the breathing. You'll get it I know. And it is amazing sometimes how somethng that seems so bad can turn out to be an open door to something new. You're doing awesome!

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ISABELLE31 8/24/2012 10:27AM

    I love how reflective you are about everything!

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TRICIAE2 8/24/2012 9:57AM

    Everything happens for a reason, whether to teach us a lesson or to force us to slow down and pay attention!

emoticon

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123ELAINE456 8/24/2012 9:52AM

  Awesome Blog!!! You are Amazing. You Inspire Many People. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. This is the WAY TO GO!!!

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ELLENBERRY 8/24/2012 8:43AM

    emoticon You totally inspire me every day!

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NHEMBERGER 8/24/2012 8:36AM

    You are amazing!
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LEB0401 8/24/2012 8:18AM

    Leah, just wanted you to know that you are single-handedly responsible for my new swimming exercise program. I never did more than a doggie paddle until your blog about googling "how to swim". I did the same, and now I can swim freestyle laps without drowning! Although, I'm swallowing quite a bit of pool water...

But every time I get frustated and embarrassed that I'm not swimming with perfect Missy Frankin strokes, I think "If LDRICHEL is hanging in there and learning from scratch, then I can too!"

So thank you so soo much; everything you post is an inspiration.

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COLETTEISGREAT 8/24/2012 6:04AM

    Great swim!!

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STEADFASTNSEE 8/23/2012 11:37PM

  I do something similar (goal reaching) in Silver Sneakers class. We do something called Knee ups. It's for the abs and I love it. Well after the third set, the instructor changes to "bike riders". I can't DO them so I do more Knee Ups. ALOT more! lol. My record in 30 seconds is 36 and Mike's pushing me to do 40! After reading this, I just might!!! emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 8/23/2012 11:02PM

    Hey....hitting the like button here.

I gotta see if I can get those Terry Laughlin videos uploaded to my you tube channel this weekend... There are some parts you will find really useful. I learned how to swim a solid swim for my tri with just the first few vids....

emoticon...lol... emoticon emoticon
Sorry, just had to do it....

Comment edited on: 8/23/2012 11:03:48 PM

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LIZSPRINGSTEEN 8/23/2012 10:48PM

    So proud of you! I love swimming. I learned proper form in high school, but now that it's been 10 yrs since I graduated, I can't remember sometimes. But I know HOW to do the breathing right. It's just sometimes you have to focus on other things, like your kids. That's what happens with me anyway. I'm hoping you can get your breathing worked out soon. I'm glad you have plenty of time to learn, though. You'll do great at your triathlon! And all the half marathons and marathons and whatever else you enter in. You're a great inspiration to me.

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LINDAK25 8/23/2012 10:08PM

    Good for you! I truly do believe that it's not what happens to you in your life that matters, but how you handle it and what you do with what you've learned that makes the difference.

Now about your breathing when you freestyle. Do yourself a favor and learn how to breath. Is part of the pool waist high? Stand where you can bend your upper body over and be at a level similar to swimming and do your stroke. You can even do this out of the water, but you eventually need to practice in the water. Decide which side you want to breath on, left or right. Whichever feels more comfortable. I breath on the left. (The stroke is smoother if you choose one side or another and it's less complicated to do so.) Now, practice your breathing as you stroke. Yes, just stand there and do this. I breath in through my mouth, out through my mouth and nose.

Your body naturally turns with every stroke so you're just going to exaggerate that movement and turn your head a little more. So, every time you start to turn that side of your body, turn your head, too. As your arm starts moving up, breath in. As your arm comes up over your head, your body starts to turn back into the water. Turn your head with your body and you can either breath out until the next stroke on that side comes around or hold your breath for a couple of strokes, then slowly let it out until you're ready to take your next breath.

Otherwise, ask someone for help. I'm sure someone would be willing to show you!

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 8/23/2012 10:08PM

    You are amazing and God is certainly working in your life!

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KBRADFORD88 8/23/2012 9:44PM

    I hear you. The biggest blessings have come in crazy ways. You'll get the breathing. It just happened for me one day like the good running feeling that showed up one day

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KEIPONY 8/23/2012 9:33PM

    "GOD WINK" emoticon

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 8/23/2012 9:14PM

    You are insane...
Love you for it though!
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KIPPER15 8/23/2012 8:54PM

    Considering I can tread water and dog paddle, I am in awe of you learning to swim from Youtube. Great job. emoticon emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 8/23/2012 8:42PM

    Great job on the swim and you have enough time to work out the kinks for sure. If you have a chance,head on over to my page and read my triathlon blog that I posted earlier this week. It is a great experience and even though it is challenging it is very doable.

Spark on!

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GARDENSFORLIFE 8/23/2012 8:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GUITARWOMAN 8/23/2012 7:50PM

    Great attitude!

And good thinking!



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JUNEAU2010 8/23/2012 7:48PM

    Talk about a blessing in disguise!

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CLUMBOY 8/23/2012 7:19PM

    way to go. everything is a blessing if you look at it with a blessed heart. good for you.

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FITFOODIE806 8/23/2012 7:13PM

    That is so cool. And a pretty speedy time for that distance!! It's great how things come into our lives at the right moment. You may find that training for a sprint tri is sooner in your future than you ever dreamed! I have a feeling that you are going to rocking it in no time! The swim is the hardest part for almost everyone and you are well on your way. And from everything I've read, and my own personal experience, tri training goes better with weight loss than endurance running does.

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KALEWINE 8/23/2012 6:29PM

    I can completely identify with the breathing while swimming issue. I started really swimming 4 days per week in May and it took me a few weeks to get the breathing figured out to the point that I could do more than 2 lengths without stopping. I can now do 2 miles without stopping. So keep pressing on! It's hard work, but you can do it! Oh and the hunger is normal. Make sure you get a good snack that consists largely of carbs and protein the first half hour after your swim. emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 8/23/2012 6:13PM

    You probably already are, but what makes a big difference for me on appetite after a really good workout is eating in that post-workout window and eating the right things then. (For me it's my protein smoothie - fruit juice, fruit, banana, protein powder - or a chocolate milk, of all things. Both have the carbs I need to refuel the muscles and the protein that is slower to digest and keeps me feeling satisfied for a good while until I'm down out of that "eat the kitchen" feeling.)

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WILDFLOWER521 8/23/2012 5:55PM

    They say everything happens for a reason.
Sometimes we don't really understand why at the time, but cloudy days will soon turn to clear.

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MSTWOMOONS002 8/23/2012 4:57PM

    Hi Leah;
Thanks for the goodie you sent me and the lovely words .I've read this blog all I can say is God knows what you need before you do, everything happens for a reason I have full faith that this entire journey is under a divine plan for You. You seem to be doing all the right things for yourself as you need to so you are listening to your divine guidance. You are gaining strength in body & soul & spirit You have the faith of the mustard seed. I believe if you asked the mountain to move it would.
You are such a blessing in my life, you live & walk by faith You are strong. I can only suggest when you are hungry after a swim, sometimes choosing water filled vegis can help. Like cucumber cut coins, celery with low fat peanut butter, or cottage cheese. Preparing wise choices in advance can help when the hungries hit you. I wish you the best, I'm so proud of the strides your making, just keep going you'll make it.

Many Blessings Always Debby emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STHAX10 8/23/2012 4:44PM

    I too fell victim to circumstance. I injured my back in Jan 2009. Had back surgery Oct 2009. Hysterectomy 2010. Well, I topped out at 226 pounds. Today I weighed in. I am 170.4 pounds. I went from size 20 down to current size 13. I still have another 30 to lose, but that is another chapter to write in my book. I am proud of what I have accomplished! I am strong, no matter how weak I feel. I am a survivor and I am proud of who I am. I found sparkpeople.com last year, it has been my blessing!!! May 1, 2012 was the day that I had enough, and the weight was coming off....30 pounds ago...30 to go! Now I love to ride mountain bike and walk! Previously couldn't walk around the block without crying...I walked 2.5 miles yesterday! Persistence and determination!

Together we can do it!!! emoticon

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LYNSEY723 8/23/2012 4:39PM

    Great job on the 30 laps in 30 min! That's awesome! Sometimes it is hard to see the good out of something less fortunate, like an injury... but we will always learn something in the process! You're doing amazing!

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MS0669 8/23/2012 4:34PM

    30 in 30 ? WOW !! Great job, you should be thrilled

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HBLACK5 8/23/2012 4:34PM

    That is awesome! I don't like to swim, so for that reason I am not planning on doing triathalons in the future unless I do it as part of a team. I would prefer to run, but I would bike too.

Several people in my boot camp class are training as a team to complete in a local triathalon that is next week. There are also a few people that are completing the triathalon on their own.

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PATTISTAMPS 8/23/2012 4:17PM

    Try breathing with every stroke on the crawl until you get comfortable with that. Then switch to every other stroke. it should help... emoticon

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ROSES4ME1 8/23/2012 4:16PM

    My swim style would be more like splashing and thrashing. Good for you to be able to swim 30 laps. I am sure you will conquer whatever problem you have with your breathing the same way you conquer other obstacles to your success. You are a strong athlete - and an incredible inspiration to me.

The negative that turned out positive for me was losing 85 lbs (so far) because I know now that I can reach my goals if I want them bad enough and work at it every day. . emoticon emoticon

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CINDHOLM 8/23/2012 4:12PM

    emoticonblog emoticon emoticon

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TAYGRL 8/23/2012 4:11PM

    hey lady--you help keep me fired up for my own workouts. i'm breathing in your drive.
thanks!

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SHAWWB 8/23/2012 4:02PM

    I really enjoy reading your blogs. You have come so far and are so inspirational. I have started using your protein smoothies to replace my breakfast and am working on replacing lunch too. Thanks for being you and blogging.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

For You...and you know who You are

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A good friend of mine (MOM2IAN) shared this with me because, well...it's kind of perfect at the moment. I would add to it, actually...



And some incredibly amazing people happen to be both.

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And that's all I have to say about that.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THETROUT 9/1/2012 10:48AM

    Good continuation of the thought.

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DAJODU 8/31/2012 1:00PM

    Absolutly! I know I've had a few of the "lessons" but we have to learn from those mistakes. I have, and now I've recieved a blessing of my own :)

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2ABBYNORMAL 8/31/2012 12:58AM

    Truly inspirational message.


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VIMVIGOR 8/26/2012 11:01PM

  Right On!! Cheryl

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EMILYDOODLE 8/26/2012 10:10PM

  That is so true! emoticon

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IFEOMA4 8/26/2012 12:02PM

  Awesome

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NEWMOM20121 8/25/2012 9:24AM

    Perfect

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SNOWYOGA 8/24/2012 8:53PM

    So true!

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HEALTHY4HIM 8/24/2012 6:21AM

    emoticon

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PEGGYO 8/23/2012 4:01PM

    I agree

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PATTISTAMPS 8/23/2012 2:45PM

    AMEN!!!

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LINDAKAY228 8/23/2012 1:03PM

    Totally agree!

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 8/23/2012 12:52PM

    Absolutely.

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ROB704 8/23/2012 11:32AM

    that's about the truth!

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DJ1SKYWALKER 8/23/2012 10:13AM

    Some Lessons took a long time to figure out :-(

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ELLENBERRY 8/23/2012 9:20AM

    emoticon

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LORELLELAURA 8/23/2012 7:46AM

    emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 8/23/2012 7:38AM

    So true!!

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123ELAINE456 8/23/2012 5:12AM

  AWESOME!!! God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week.

Comment edited on: 8/23/2012 5:15:19 AM

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COCK-ROBIN 8/23/2012 4:44AM

    emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 8/23/2012 1:38AM

    Love it, and it's so, so true.

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4RASCALS 8/23/2012 1:20AM

    So true

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JUNEAU2010 8/22/2012 8:46PM

    I said goodby to a student intern who is / was both in good ways.

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KIPPER15 8/22/2012 8:38PM

    emoticon

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MEH50BEWELL 8/22/2012 8:15PM

    That is soooo true! The tough part is figuring out which one they represent sometimes. emoticon

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NDKARIKARI 8/22/2012 7:43PM

    Truth!

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/22/2012 6:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CINDHOLM 8/22/2012 5:42PM

    emoticon

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ANDASI 8/22/2012 5:39PM

    emoticon

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PEGGYO 8/22/2012 5:29PM

    very nice

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 8/22/2012 4:58PM

    I changed my name...Just so you know!
emoticon

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GARDENSFORLIFE 8/22/2012 4:49PM

    emoticon

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LINDAK25 8/22/2012 4:42PM

    Love it!

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ISABELLE31 8/22/2012 4:20PM

    Highly true.

I consider your blog posts to be blessings. Sometimes I wonder how you got in my head and stole my thoughts. emoticon emoticon

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MSTWOMOONS002 8/22/2012 4:10PM

    Hi Leah;
You've brought blessings to me ever since I added you as my friend & began reading your daily blogs. I wish you all the best, you've shared your friendship, knowledge & time & space in life for good things.
Take care & be well, Your an amazing strong woman I'm glad blessed my life.
Many Blessings Always Debby emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/22/2012 4:11:24 PM

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HBLACK5 8/22/2012 3:27PM

    So true!

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REGILIEH 8/22/2012 3:07PM

    How true!,

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GOSPARK45 8/22/2012 3:03PM

    emoticon emoticon

emoticon

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JENNCABA 8/22/2012 2:44PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CLUTTRELL8 8/22/2012 2:20PM

    emoticon

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YULLABELLE 8/22/2012 2:16PM

    SO TRUE

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WHERERMY62KEYS 8/22/2012 1:57PM

  been taught some biiiiiiggg lessons

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TAYGRL 8/22/2012 1:56PM

    been there, SO done that... emoticon

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WILDFLOWER521 8/22/2012 1:50PM

    Never thought of it like that but it is absolutely true!



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WORLDSERIES11 8/22/2012 1:32PM

    So true!!

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LIZSPRINGSTEEN 8/22/2012 1:31PM

    I love this! Thanks so much for sharing!!!!!

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RAMONAFLOWERZ 8/22/2012 1:22PM

    AMEN!

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