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Nightmare binging

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hubby brought home half a dozen cupcakes from the fancy cupcake shop in town. I didn't know why he did it, but I was upset because he's not allowed to eat them anymore. I looked them over, and they smelled so good that I couldn't resist a taste. These are the kind of cupcakes that are piled high with buttercream frosting. Before I knew it, I had eaten all the frosting off the top of one. Then a kind of eating frenzy overtook me, and I ate the frosting off of every single cupcake! I felt horrible and guilty and was throwing the cake parts away so I wouldn't eat them, too--

And then I woke up. I was completely disoriented and confused. Then relieved to realize that I had only dreamed that binge! Whew!

But it was so realistic that all day yesterday I kept thinking, "I am way over my calorie count!"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLAZED-DONUT 6/22/2013 8:22PM

    Dream big! But wow, imagine the trots you wouldve had after all of that buttercream frosting... eeekks!!!
Whew - thank goodness it was just a dream! (-:

Comment edited on: 6/22/2013 8:23:01 PM

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BOBF15 6/22/2013 8:14PM

    Cool! I just read an article on night time snacking. One of my biggest problems is the 9 PM snack. I have wrestled with this demon for years.

Some say, that evening eating goes to fat, but the best information I have is it makes less difference when as what.

So, I found some foods that can be eaten just before bed. I think my ticket to success is going to be some kind of shake.

Key ingrediets / foods

White meat - turkey or chicken
Greens
Nut butters, or just plain nuts
Healthy oils (take a long time to digest)
Yogure or cottage cheese, even whole milk ( which has casein)
Eggs (hard boiled) my favorite is to drop one in my smoothie. I have done it for over 50 years and not one problem with salmonella.

The worst foods are carbs and simple proteins as these break down and spike insulin over night. Which will put weight on.

I am excited about finding a smarter snack and not going to be hungry or deprived.
emoticon emoticon

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JUST2OFUS 6/20/2013 7:31AM

    Glad it was only a dream. Sometimes you just need the "sweet treat" to move on. When I get the hunger for chocolate cake, with peanut butter frosting, I make a 9x13, ice it and then we have a nice piece. YUMMY! Then I am done with it. I cut the rest in pieces, freeze them, wrap them and place into a freezer bag. Then when the "gotta have cake" hits, I take out a piece and thaw it and enjoy.

Yes, it isn't "good" for you, but when you don't eat what you crave, you end up eating MORE calories trying NOT to eat the crave item, and then end up eating the crave item anyway. So TREAT yourself, but only once in a while....maybe once a week, and DON'T make it a reward!

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PAQTEQ 6/19/2013 1:06PM

    Ha Ha. I'm glad it was just a nightmare. But appreciate it because that was your warning to be careful of your sugar intake. Hopes it works out for you. I had a good laugh.
emoticon

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MSANITAL 6/19/2013 8:45AM

    I have had food dreams that is for sure.. but I have also been faced with that in real life and I tell you it is a hard feeling to have at that moment of something taking over you and compelling you to dive in. oh sister I have been there done that and gained the weight for it.. it is scary.. that is for sure and I know I am not free of that ever happening to me again but if it does. I sure hope I can and would be able to handle it ..

Dreams are funny.. maybe it was a strengthen exercise for if it ever would happen



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NANA2PRINCESSES 6/19/2013 7:32AM

    So glad it was just a dream. But the sad part is that if those cupcakes had in reality entered my house, I would not have stopped until they were all gone, (and not just frosting, cake parts too). With the aid of Spark, I feel more in control, but still not able to have the stuff around.

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TATTER3 6/19/2013 6:40AM

    LOL...I wish my binges were nightmares I could wake up from!

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JANETRIS 6/18/2013 8:44PM

    Too funny! Glad it was only a nightmare... emoticon

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SLAVEBLUERAVEN 6/18/2013 8:35PM

    Thankfully it was a dream! That would have really upset me if I experienced it. emoticon

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IAMFAT4NOW 6/18/2013 2:53PM

    OMG Whew!


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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/18/2013 1:02PM

    At least you weren't sick to your stomach all day from the bad dream!

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NATPLUMMER 6/18/2013 12:01PM

    Whew!

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NANHBH 6/18/2013 11:54AM

    Yikes, good thing that was a nightmare! But it sounds like something that I would do - in the past. With the help of Spark accountability, I pray that I don't do that anymore!
emoticon

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KITTEN413 6/18/2013 11:26AM

  That sounds like a true nightmare

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KNYAGENYA 6/18/2013 11:13AM

    That is horrible and funny at the same time. I am glad that it was a dream so that you don't have to feel guilty.

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Tri report

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hubby Ferrett and I drove to Oregon, Ohio Saturday afternoon to pick up the race packet at Maumee Bay. I happened to arrive just in time to hear the orientation talk. Which included a talk about how there have been a number of deaths at triathlons. Not from drowning, but from people panicking in the water and having heart attacks. He told us how it was going to be intense and disorienting and that it was important to relax and pay attention to our reactions.

Okay, then.

After taking a look around, we checked into our hotel, then met up with dear friends Steve and Lea, who had driven down from the Detroit area to cheer me on. After a lovely dinner and a soak in the jacuzzi, it was early to bed. But somewhere in late afternoon and evening I noticed pain in my left foot, just to the side of the ball of my foot, below my toes.

At about 4:30am I woke up about halfway out of the bed, thanks to a crash of thunder that was the topic of discussion among runners the next morning. Dayum, that thing was loud. Fortunately, all the wild weather passed in the wee hours and by the time we got to the race site the weather was merely overcast.

Ferrett woke me up at 5:00, which was a damned good thing since I'd cleverly set my alarm for 5:20 PM--I am dumb. But thanks to Ferrett, we were able to have some of the complimentary breakfast and load Greta, who'd spent the night safe in our room, back on the car. We had a late checkout at the hotel so that I'd have time to come back and shower before lunch. I found myself limping a bit. Bending my toes up or down hurt.

Got my race numbers written on me, my ankle tag attached, and my wrist band--no race bib for this one. Ferrett walked with me while I warmed up. Then I slithered into my wetsuit and went down to the water to take some warmup strokes.

The water was really murky. Like, can't see my hand in front of my face murky. And choppy. This is when I realized that I hadn't spent enough time in the water, and that I should have gotten into it in my wetsuit, because it made me float higher and made it harder to lift my head out of the water and look around. But hey, it wasn't THAT far out to those buoys.

Then the race waves began. Elite men and men ages 19-29. Men ages 30-39. Men over 40.

Women.

Yes, all the women at once. I don't know if large group had an effect on what happened. But it might have been a contributing factor.

Because when I got into the water and started swimming in all those arms and legs, I suddenly went into a complete panic. I tried to swim the crawl, but I was gasping for air. I tried lifting my head to stroke and got a nose full of water. I finally had to roll over and start back-stroking. Even then I felt like I couldn't get my breath. The mass of swimmers left me far behind. And I couldn't swim in anything like a straight line. I probably swam an extra 30% of the distance zigzagging around.

But I didn't stay alone. Because just 5 minutes later, the Olympic-distance swimmers entered the water. So pretty soon I was surrounded by a lot of aggressive swimmers, definitely making things more difficult.

Eventually I reached the turn. It seemed like it took forever. I reached the second buoy and headed back toward shore. Still trying to turn over and swim freestyle, still not able to keep calm and keep my face in the water. Still zigging and zagging. I resorted to the side stroke and breast stroke, and slowly, slowly, sloooowly, the shore neared. At last I was able to stand up and stagger toward the beach. Olympic distance runners were jogging past me, but I was still trying to catch my breath. And my foot hurt. So my exit from the beach was...leisurely.

And Ferrett was there, cheering me on.

Change of shoes, and off on the bike. Quick departure. Except I manage to drop my chain right at the mounting spot. So, pulling over to get the chain back on. Argh.

The bike ride was...not brilliant. It was very windy, and I was slow as hell. And my legs were unhappy, probably not helped by the adrenaline mess from the swim. But I kept pedaling. And eventually the biking ended. Back into transition, off the bike. Staggered a bit, but stayed upright--yay! And Ferrett was there, cheering me on--awesome hubby!!

Change of shoes, and a wander to find the beginning of the 5k. As I walked through the transition area I was completely unsure that I could actually manage a jog--my foot wasn't happy about any of this. But once I actually reached the start of the 5k I manned it up and began my slow, crawling jog. I was being passed continually, but I kept chugging on. Lots of those people took a breath to cheer me on; it's one of the awesome things about participants, that they are so supportive. Finally reached the turnaround, and did my own cheering on of the few sprint people who were behind me.

Without any music to help my pace, I was having a little trouble keeping the pace up. And when I could see the finish line, halfway around the lake, there was a moment when I almost gave up and dropped down to a walk. But I doubled down mentally and kept up my excruciatingly slow jog.

And eventually I turned that last corner and headed toward the finish line. Steve and Lea were there along with Ferrett, cheering me on as I jogged those last few yards. Ferrett has a funny video of me staggering forward, snatching a cup of water from one volunteer, my finishers medal from another, pausing just long enough to rip off and return the timing chip from my ankle, and then staggering out of the finishers chute. I look completely grim and all business.

They were all waiting to hug me. I waved them off while I bent over, hands atop a traffic cone, and caught my breath for a moment. Then, still wet, sweaty, exhausted, I took those cheers and hugs.

On the advice of other friends who've done tris, they took me straight to food. As I described the event, Steve asked me, "So...did you *enjoy* this?"

I had to pause. Honestly, there were almost no moments of it that I can point to and say, "That part was enjoyable." But as a whole? It made me very satisfied.

And I'm already planning how to improve my training for the next one. There will definitely be more pool. And more open water swimming.

And, I fear, a trip to the doctor for an x-ray. Because this foot is not happy. Not swollen or anything, but definitely sore.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 6/18/2013 8:51PM

    You did it. You finished the race and accomplished what many don't have the ability or guts to even attempt. I am so proud of you. You learn and get better each time......seriously....girl YOU ROCK!! emoticon

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NANHBH 6/18/2013 2:15PM

    Miss G,

Congrats on your tri! I felt like I was right there with you. I totally know what you mean about not being enjoyable, but feeling satisfied.

Interesting comment about the swim potion - people dying from panic! I ended up backstroking or sidestroking my tri as well. When I went to my first pre-race talk last year, they told us to count to 10 after everyone in my wave got into the water - and then start swimming so that I'm not in the pack. That seemed to work this year - but you're right, the next wave eventually catches up to you.

I hope your foot is OK.
emoticon emoticon

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JULISKA09 6/18/2013 9:22AM

    Awesome job on your triathalon! Lots of races don't go exactly as planned, but you pushed through it. I hope your foot is better soon!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 6/18/2013 5:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon YOU DID IT !!!! All right!!!!!!! You inspire me

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SMARTIN77 6/18/2013 1:47AM

    I am in awe of your accomplishment. You showed courage and determination to see it through. Great job! My heart was getting uneasy just reading about your struggles in the swimming portion....all I can say is WOW! I know this was a tremendous learning experience and next year will be even better! Keep it up!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MILLIE-MILOU 6/17/2013 5:51PM

    Well done.
I used to compete in Tri's, when I had a whole achilles and know how hard that open water swimming is. Well done for keeping going and finishing.
I hope your foot is OK and you are back in training soon.
R

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NATPLUMMER 6/17/2013 3:37PM

    Congratulations!!!
I hope your foot is okay.

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KNYAGENYA 6/17/2013 3:14PM

    Good for you! I want to do a tri one day. The problem for me will be running. I hate running.

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HILLSLUG98239 6/17/2013 12:35PM

    Congratulations!

I know the swim will be tough for me. I talked to a friend who will not do a tri, but she has friends that do it. She says her friends wait for the first part of the wave to go, then they start. They're not worried about time; it lets them swim without getting run over.

I'm very happy my swim will be in the Columbia River - with the current!

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APPLESBANANAS 6/17/2013 6:06AM

    Yayy!!!! Wow, that sounds like a huge amount of effort. Great job on a wonderful achievement. The water part sounds terrifying, I'm glad you worked your way through it. Good luck with that foot. emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/16/2013 8:41PM

    Congratulations on not just starting, but actually Finishing Your Triathlon! Open water swims are not easy. JaneTris and I did Presque Isle last year and will do it again this year. It was rough swimming in Lake Erie! A miserable experience for me, but yup, I am a sucker, so gonna do it again! And you will too.

It is that sense of accomplishment that draws us back.

Keep Going GirlFriend! emoticon

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TATTER3 6/16/2013 7:56PM

    I am so impressed!!! You had a really rare experience for the majority of people who read this. I can't imagine. Good job and good luck with the next one. Heal fast. emoticon

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Tri report

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hubby Ferrett and I drove to Oregon, Ohio Saturday afternoon to pick up the race packet at Maumee Bay. I happened to arrive just in time to hear the orientation talk. Which included a talk about how there have been a number of deaths at triathlons. Not from drowning, but from people panicking in the water and having heart attacks. He told us how it was going to be intense and disorienting and that it was important to relax and pay attention to our reactions.

Okay, then.

After taking a look around, we checked into our hotel, then met up with dear friends Steve and Lea, who had driven down from the Detroit area to cheer me on. After a lovely dinner and a soak in the jacuzzi, it was early to bed. But somewhere in late afternoon and evening I noticed pain in my left foot, just to the side of the ball of my foot, below my toes.

At about 4:30am I woke up about halfway out of the bed, thanks to a crash of thunder that was the topic of discussion among runners the next morning. Dayum, that thing was loud. Fortunately, all the wild weather passed in the wee hours and by the time we got to the race site the weather was merely overcast.

Ferrett woke me up at 5:00, which was a damned good thing since I'd cleverly set my alarm for 5:20 PM--I am dumb. But thanks to Ferrett, we were able to have some of the complimentary breakfast and load Greta, who'd spent the night safe in our room, back on the car. We had a late checkout at the hotel so that I'd have time to come back and shower before lunch. I found myself limping a bit. Bending my toes up or down hurt.

Got my race numbers written on me, my ankle tag attached, and my wrist band--no race bib for this one. Ferrett walked with me while I warmed up. Then I slivered into my wetsuit and went down to the water to take some warmup strokes.

The water was really murky. Like, can't see my hand in front of my face murky. And choppy. This is when I realized that I hadn't spent enough time in the water, and that I should have gotten into it in my wetsuit, because it made me float higher and made it harder to lift my head out of the water and look around. But hey, it wasn't THAT far out to those buoys.

Then the race waves began. Elite men and men ages 19-29. Men ages 30-39. Men over 40.

Women.

Yes, all the women at once. I don't know if large group had an effect on what happened. But it might have been a contributing factor.

Because when I got into the water and started swimming in all those arms and legs, I suddenly went into a complete panic. I tried to swim the crawl, but I was gasping for air. I tried lifting my head to stroke and got a nose full of water. I finally had to roll over and start back-stroking. Even then I felt like I couldn't get my breath. The mass of swimmers left me far behind. And I couldn't swim in anything like a straight line. I probably swam an extra 30% of the distance zigzagging around.

But I didn't stay alone. Because just 5 minutes later, the Olympic-distance swimmers entered the water. So pretty soon I was surrounded by a lot of aggressive swimmers, definitely making things more difficult.

Eventually I reached the turn. It seemed like it took forever. I reached the second buoy and headed back toward shore. Still trying to turn over and swim freestyle, still not able to keep calm and keep my face in the water. Still zigging and zagging. I resorted to the side stroke and breast stroke, and slowly, slowly, sloooowly, the shore neared. At last I was able to stand up and stagger toward the beach. Olympic distance runners were jogging past me, but I was still trying to catch my breath. And my foot hurt. So my exit from the beach was...leisurely.

And Ferrett was there, cheering me on.

Change of shoes, and off on the bike. Quick departure. Except I manage to drop my chain right at the mounting spot. So, pulling over to get the chain back on. Argh.

The bike ride was...not brilliant. It was very windy, and I was slow as hell. And my legs were unhappy, probably not helped by the adrenaline mess from the swim. But I kept pedaling. And eventually the biking ended. Back into transition, off the bike. Staggered a bit, but stayed upright--yay! And Ferrett was there, cheering me on--awesome hubby!!

Change of shoes, and a wander to find the beginning of the 5k. As I walked through the transition area I was completely unsure that I could actually manage a jog--my foot wasn't happy about any of this. But once I actually reached the start of the 5k I manned it up and began my slow, crawling jog. I was being passed continually, but I kept chugging on. Lots of those people took a breath to cheer me on; it's one of the awesome things about participants, that they are so supportive. Finally reached the turnaround, and did my own cheering on of the few sprint people who were behind me.

Without any music to help my pace, I was having a little trouble keeping the pace up. And when I could see the finish line, halfway around the lake, there was a moment when I almost gave up and dropped down to a walk. But I doubled down mentally and kept up my excruciatingly slow jog.

And eventually I turned that last corner and headed toward the finish line. Steve and Lea were there along with Ferrett, cheering me on as I jogged those last few yards. Ferrett has a funny video of me staggering forward, snatching a cup of water from one volunteer, my finishers medal from another, pausing just long enough to rip off and return the timing chip from my ankle, and then staggering out of the finishers chute. I look completely grim and all business.

They were all waiting to hug me. I waved them off while I bent over, hands atop a traffic cone, and caught my breath for a moment. Then, still wet, sweaty, exhausted, I took those cheers and hugs.

On the advice of other friends who've done tris, they took me straight to food. As I described the event, Steve asked me, "So...did you *enjoy* this?"

I had to pause. Honestly, there were almost no moments of it that I can point to and say, "That part was enjoyable." But as a whole? It made me very satisfied.

And I'm already planning how to improve my training for the next one. There will definitely be more pool. And more open water swimming.

And, I fear, a trip to the doctor for an x-ray. Because this foot is not happy. Not swollen or anything, but definitely sore.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 6/17/2013 12:00PM

    No doubt about it, the first tri experience is tough. Hooray for you! You did it. You stayed through the end. That Is An Accomplishment To Be Proud Of.

emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 6/16/2013 9:37PM

    Hippy-hippy horray! There is nothing like your first one. You are a virgin no more! You faced down your fears and now you know the worst. It can ONLY get BETTER. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey!

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FRANCIEVW 6/16/2013 8:49PM

    Congrats on your race, MISSG180. You conquered it! I laughed about the "women" wave.

Thanks for sharing our story. Try running outside without music once in a while. It's a great way to be present in right now, and to enjoy everything that is around you! Keep up the great work.

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Meditations on my upcoming triathlon

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I am now fully equipped for the triathlon, having received my wetsuit in the mail. And having tried it on to make sure I could actually get into it. With black boots and a mask, I could be a chubby superhero:

Yesterday, as I was biking in the pouring rain, I contemplated the fact that there is a substantial non-zero chance that I will be in last place at this triathlon. This is not some kind of ploy to have people cheer me on or anything, it's just a reality: I am fat, I am old, I am slow. I do not mind being last, but I mind the reason WHY I will probably be last.

And it has nothing to do with my own fat/old/slowness. It has to do with the fact that most people who are in the shape I'm in, or even slightly better, wouldn't even consider entering a triathlon. Not because, "ugh, I'd never want to do that" -- which is a perfectly legitimate way to feel, as no one is required to participate in athletic events that don't appeal to them. No, it's because there are many people in this shape or slightly better who are thinking, "wow, I could never do that."

And that's sad to me. It's sad that people don't feel like they should participate in such events unless they are going to be good at them, and they will never get good at them because they won't participate.

I have seen this at pretty much every 5k I've attended, particularly the ones that are labelled "5k run/2-mile walk." I realize that the race coordinators are trying to make the event appeal to a wider audience, but there seems to be an implication that if you can't RUN for 5k, then you'd better settle for the walk. At every one of these events, I start out in the middle of a good-sized crowd of walkers and slow joggers. Then we get to the turn-around spot and suddenly I'm at the back with only a handful of people. After a while, that handful diminishes further as people who can't jog the whole way drop out. Some of them, no doubt, have a physical reason why they can't continue. But others would rather slink away and remain anonymous than finish and see a time that embarrasses them.

I say nuts to that. If it takes you 50 minutes, or 75 minutes to finish a 5k, you are still lapping the guy on the couch. If it takes me 4 hours to complete this sprint-length triathlon, I will still be able to say that I did it. And I will have fun, because I don't have to be young and thin and fast to enjoy my body moving and taking on a challenge.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 6/18/2013 2:21PM

    Here here, Miss G! I agree totally with you!

I did my first race EVER at age 57 - because my Spark Teammates encouraged me to try. I came in 2nd place - because it was a small venue (300 racers) and there weren't many in my age category. After I accomplished that, I felt like I could do more. One of our teammates - JaneTris - encouraged me to do a triathlon. I finished 5th in my division - again, a small venue super-sprint with not a lot of women in my age category. But, I tried it and I finished. And I came back for more this year!

You look great in your wet suit. Did you like swimming in it?
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 6/16/2013 9:39PM

    I didnt see this post until AFTER you had your Tri, but I still think there is tremendous wisdom in accepting yourself where you ARE and moving forward from that.

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APPLESBANANAS 6/13/2013 5:53AM

    You look great in the wetsuit! I love the superhero comment. When I ran cross country in high school I came in last a few times, which was not the coolest thing back then as a teen, but it still was great to know many of my friends would not even attempt a 5k. Speed and finishing time is relative, but the ability to get up and move your body is absolute!

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CHRIAMARIA1983 6/12/2013 6:19AM

    Quitters never prosper. You can't get anywhere if you don't try.

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TATTER3 6/12/2013 6:03AM

    I love that thought...lapping the guy on the couch! Keep Sparkin'!!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/12/2013 1:29AM

    MissG, you are Awesome! For just a second I thought you were planning on biking in your wetsuit, since you were talking about it raining and all. Haha.
You will do great on your triathlon. Why? Because you are going in with the best attitude in the world!
I am looking forward to reading ALL about it!

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BARDIC_GRRL 6/11/2013 8:05PM

    My first triathlon I was last place, and I had to have my cane transported to T2 for me.

This triathlon I was NOT last place, and I did NOT use a cane.

You go for the gusto, whatever!

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PINKBEANBOO 6/11/2013 5:35PM

    I never thought of it that way but your right. Just because I won't be good at something doesn't mean I shouldn't try it. Great blog!

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LISAINMS 6/11/2013 2:54PM

    You are going to have a great race because you are participating for all the right reasons. I wish more people would TRI it! I always say that it doesn't matter when you finish. It matters that you showed up, you went for it and you did finish. Have fun!

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HILLSLUG98239 6/11/2013 1:50PM

    I'm nearly 200 pounds. I've told a LOT of people about my triathlon plans. No one, including the super-fit triathletes I've told, has given me the "you're crazy" look. No one has suggested I can't do it.

I talk a lot about how active I am. I know a lot of people at the courthouse see me coming & going on my bike and going out for walks at lunch. I'm hopeful that I serve as a reminder that fitness is not reserved for the thin. Fitness and good health is something we all deserve, and even fat people can make positive changes.

But I'm sure I'd be more of an inspiration if I was a superhero. emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 6/11/2013 1:13PM

    emoticon

Crossing the Finish line is what is important, not crossing it first or at the lead of a pack. Sometimes we forget that the goal doesn't have to be the gold medal for us to have done something pretty darned amazing.

And LOVE the super-hero pose. (Just need the towel cape. ^_~)

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SPARKLISE 6/11/2013 1:12PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 6/11/2013 12:20PM

    emoticon

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Ride report: First weekend

Sunday, June 02, 2013

As I mentioned elsewhere, I took Greta (yes, my new bike now has a name--like, just as I was writing this!) on our

first ride together Thursday evening. In doing so, I made a number of mistakes, mistakes you should all learn

from:

1. I'd ridden 19 miles in 88 degree weather earlier in the day, but hadn't bothered to eat much of anything,

particularly anything potassium-heavy, so I was starting with an electrolyte deficiency.

2. Despite the fact that I was on a new bike with a totally different riding position, I started our training

together by taking on a 21 mile ride. A ride that begins with 5 miles of gradual but unceasing uphill pedaling.

3. Despite knowing better, I jumped right up with the leaders and pushed myself HARD to stay with them.

By the time we reached the summit of the ride, I was hurting some. But from there, I knew it was an out-and-back

of very straight roads on rolling hills. Plenty of rest, and a chance to finally see what Greta could do.

And she was magnificent! On a minor descent, I was coasting at 19 mph! Coasting! I have no idea what her top speed

might be because I was too nervous to pedal faster than 22! Everything was brilliant!

Then we started climbing again. And that's when things went pear-shaped. My thighs began cramping and my wind

just...died. My back was aching as well. I had pushed through everything I had in those first 5 miles of climbing,

and I simply wasn't recovering on the downhills.

But I kept pedaling. I was climbing even the relatively minor grades at under 10mph, and the bigger ones I dropped

down into the 5-6mph range. At one point I just plain had to stop, get my feet out of the pedals, and just stand

and stretch for a few minutes.

Honestly, I felt worse then than I did at the end of the 81 miles I'd ridden on the first day of Pedal to the

Point last year.

My friend Mike was a hero, though. He kept looping around and checking in on me, giving me encouraging words but

not hanging at my shoulder and nagging. And I got back on the bike and began pedaling again.

It didn't get any easier. By the time we were climbing toward the apogee of the ride, the highest point in the

county, I was just lost in the pain of the cramps, the breathing, the heartrate, the back pain. The good thing was

that I could tell that none of this was injury-threatening pain. Just glycogen-deprived misery.

And so I made it to the top of that hill. Mike was there, cheering me on. "It's all downhill from here!" he

yelled. And mostly it was. There were some minor uphills, the kind that I had barely even noticed in the past.

This time, each one was a tiny bit of hell. We finally got to the last couple miles, which were all downhill. I

pushed my pedaling speed up so that I was going around 15. There will be other days when I take that part at 20 or

more. But it was not this day.

This day was all about struggling, pushing beyond what feels like the outside boundaries, and then accomplishing

the task anyway. It was a humbling lesson in proper preparation, but also an exhilerating lesson in the power of

the will to keep pushing. I staggered back into Mike and Patti's house and gulped down fruit smoothies like there

was no tomorrow. In an hour I was recovered enough to drive home.

I lived to ride again.

Ride two was on Saturday. Erin and I were signed up for a 5k run downtown, so I suggested that we bike the 10 miles there, do the 5k, then bike home as a good training exercise for triathlons. Unfortunately, Erin didn't get up early enough to ride, so I rode in without her and she drove in. We completed the 5k (her in record time; me...not last!!), and then had enough energy to do the Cupid Shuffle at the post-run party!

Oh, and I ate bananas.

When we parted, I got on my bike and headed home. But with Captain America filming in Cleveland, one of the two major routes west was closed, and one of the only two exits from the parking area was closed. I was able to escape, though, via the one open sidewalk.

The wind on the way home was blowing against me so hard that I honestly think I could have gone backwards if I weren't pedaling. It was a grind, but I felt much better in this second half of 20 miles of riding than I had in the second half of Thursday's. And, finally, I pulled into the driveway.

Followed shortly by Erin. Traffic was so bad that I actually BEAT HER HOME. I was completely exhausted, though, and pretty wiped out for the rest of the day.

This evening I decided to take Greta out again. I took her on our first ride through the MetroParks together. And for the first time I really felt like I was actually using the clips effectively. It's a very different muscle motion and I can feel that I'm going to be sore in new places. After 15 miles of riding hard, I eased back and cruised the last 9 miles home. I was worried about the climb out of the park because I was having some cramping issues in my left leg again. Then I realized that much of that was coming from the fact that I was only stepping out of the pedals on the right, so my left leg was never getting a stretch out. I took a 3-minute break at the bottom of the climb and then made it out pretty easily. The climbing is both easier and harder: easier because Greta is so light, but harder because she doesn't have a super-low "granny gear" that I can just spin without using much muscle. But building more muscle? Not tragic.

So, since I got her on Thursday, I've put 63 miles on Greta. I'm going to take her back to the bike shop for a couple minor adjustments (moving the seat back, decreasing the reach on the brakes), but I absolutely love her!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 6/10/2013 10:29PM

    Sounds like you and Gretta are having a great honeymoon together!! Your riding adventures sound like a blast. Here's to a summer filled with them!! emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 6/3/2013 10:15PM

    I am glad you are loving your bike so much!

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TATTER3 6/3/2013 12:38PM

    I have a personal relationship with a lawn mower that's similar to you and the bike...LOL. Keep peddling and I'll keep pushing! Love it!

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NATPLUMMER 6/3/2013 11:01AM

    emoticon

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DOGLADY13 6/3/2013 7:15AM

    Oh my goodness! You are a cycling animal! And never mind glycogen deprivation - how did you deal with the heiney-itis? That's a lot of miles on a hard, skinny saddle. LOL

Yowch!

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OPTIMIST1948 6/2/2013 8:36PM

    New toy fun! Sounds like a great first weekend!

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