Friday, June 01, 2012
Or, My Adventure Getting a Wetsuit
or How I Spent $40 for a 1.5 hour 1-1 Coaching Session with a real Ironman and got this wetsuit for free!
-Hi. I'm going to be doing your triathlon on June 9th and I read on your website that the pond is 60 something degrees. Do I need a wet suit?
- Well, its not required, but we recommend it and most people wear them.
So began my search for a wetsuit. I dont own one, I dont know anyone who owns one. Purchasing seemed silly since this is a specialized activity. I'm not taking up scuba diving here. Fortunetly I found Catskill Mountain Outfitters in Kingston NY.
- Hi, this is going to sound a bit odd, but I'm doing my very first triathlon in 2 weeks. They recommended a wet suit. But here's my problem: I've never worn one before. I have no idea what I'm doing here. Normal rentals are Friday to Sunday, which is fine for most people.
- I've done 11 Ironmans and I can tell you a wetsuit is really useful for bouyancy. It will make you faster in the water. We have a little pond here on the property. Why dont you make an appointment, come up and we'll get you in one to try it out.
Yesterday, I drove an hour to meet with Donald Roth aka The Ironman.
Getting there was a comedy of errors. I packed a bunch of toys for Child so he would be entertained. I grabbed his bathing suit & a towel in case he decided to get in the water. I grabbed water. I loaded my bike onto the rack in case I was able to practice my transition. But in the packing - I forgot MY bathing suit. We got 15 minutes away and I had to turn around in order to go get it. And I still forgot my goggles.
Its a good thing we had GPS, because the store was in the middle of NOWHERE. It was a converted barn in the middle of a Manufactured Housing development. 15 minutes from Destination, Child Falls Asleep. This turned out to be a good thing. I just opened the windows and let him snooze while we did some preliminary fitting.
Putting on a wetsuit is like trying to put the sausage back into a casing. Its supposed to be tight like a second skin. By the time I got it halfway up my knees, the sweat was rolling of my head. I think it should be a cardio event all on its own. Ironman decided that this is the right fit. "Stop trying to put it on here and lets take it down to the pond, you should have an easier time once its wet."
Ironman turns out to be on "guy terms" with the 14 yr old neighbor who hitches a ride to the pond. Child wakes up as I'm pulling out of the driveway. (Good, he missed the boring stuff and will play in the water)
So I start pulling the thing on, and even with assistance from the Body Glide, I'm still trying to stuff myself back into the Sausage Casing. Ironman is assuring me that I;m doing really well for my first time. When I get it up to my thighs, we end up going to the water to scoop water into the suit and "float" it into place.
The good news, once you get it on, its surprisingly comfortable (except for the neck). The bad news, it took an hour.
Lesson #1 from the Ironman, getting on the wetsuit. This is one of the reasons you get to the area 2 hours before your wave time.
So now the Ironman says he wants to see me swim. Off I head to the end of the pond. I was surprisingly buoyant - about the same lift you get from a single pool noodle, but all over my body instead of in one place. But it changes how your arms feel on the rotation. We had talked a little about my training (solo) on the phone. So he gives me a few hand position pointers. How to sight so you swim in a straight line. How to draft on someone so you dont have to sight.
Lesson #2 If you get into a pond with an Ironman, listen and be prepared to work. You will NOT come out unscathed.
All in, we did about 3 loops of the pond, which he estimated was about 600 meters. I was exhausted at the end. He swore to me that I did much better than expected, but I was still a little embarrassed that I can do 800 m in the pool, but in open water, I was really struggling.
But thanks to the wetsuit, I know I won't drown!
Finally we are out of the pond and he gives me some pointers on transitions (no practice, just food for thought) - The hardest part is racing against yourself and not other people. My goals are different from other peoples. Then he tried to talk me into doing a mini SOS (Survival of the Schwangunks - an Ironman-Class Event). Yeah, not going to happen (this year).
Lesson #3 Ironmen have a sense of humor.
Neighbor boy kept Child entertained. Child was the last one out of the pond. Getting myself out of the wetsuit turned out to be easier than getting it on. Just turn it inside out.
We get back to the shop. Ironman has made arrangements for me to borrow the wetsuit (at no extra cost!) from NOW until after the event. So awesome. I'll be able to get at least 1, hopefully 2 sessions of open water in the Hudson River before the event to practice all of the things I learned.
Furthermore, Catskill Mountain Multisport is doing Race Support for my Triathlon, so he's going to look for me and introduce me to some real athletes closer to home who can help with the camaraderie aspect that he felt was really lacking in my training. ("You need other girls to talk to.") He'll have my Bib number and rack location.
Lesson #4, Angels look like Ironmen.
Child and I ended up going out to dinner at the Kingston Waterfront and I felt totally justified in my glass of wine and dessert flan. Well half, Child ate the other. Today is normally Brick Day, but I was so exhausted, I took a 20 minute walk, was still tired, so I took a nap the rest of the time instead. I also spent the first half of the day being a bottomless pit into which I could not shove enough food. Although whether this was due to the calorie burn from "Keeping Up with the Ironman" or hunger hormones that dont know when to turn off because you're tired. I did feel better after my nap.
I brought my camera to take pictures of all this, but in the excitement, I totally forgot. Sorry, you'll have to picture it SHRINKINGLULU style.
So if you need any Triathlon stuff, please order it from Catskill Mountain. Nice people who know what they are selling.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Pardon me while I repeat myself, but its part of the story:
My lifetime peak weight was in November/ Dec 2010: 197. The 2011 New Year's Resolution was to Get Serious. So using the simple technique of "Dont eat like a pig" I managed to loose 15 lbs in the first half of 2011.
Then Summer Came. The excuses piled on: Grilling Season. Ice Cream Stand. Too Hot to Walk. I'll get to it later.
December 2011 found me still 13 lbs lighter than my peak (I only gained back 2 lbs - not too shabby but still obese). So New Year's found me with the same resolution. I found an email my friend Raina413 sent me back in August about SparkPeople.
6 months later, I'm *almost* 20 lbs lighter. (I was hoping to make it to 20 lbs, but this whole working thing is cutting into my workout time). I only have one chin, and slowly my neck is redefining itself from my head. I looked in the mirror and saw collarbones. I looked down and saw my hips becoming slimmer. My pants are falling off me. I used to be a big 16/ small 18 and now I'm a small 14 or 12.
And oh, yeah, did I mention I'm going to be in a friggin' TRIATHLON in 10 DAYS!!!
I'm in better shape than I've ever been in my life. Note: I'm not the thinnest I've ever been, but I'll take fit & healthy for thin ANY DAY. I'm doing things I never thought were possible. And its all thanks to you.
(Insert "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong" here)
I think the best metaphor for this whole thing is in this dress:
Its a lovely dress isnt it? You cant see so well in the picture but there is beading all over it with a sheer lace on top.
I bought this dress over 12 years ago. One of my best friends was getting married and I decided that I wanted a new "posh frock" for her wedding. Then I got bigger, then I got married and got bigger, then I had a baby and never lost the weight. Then I got a job, then I lost the job and got depressed.
Oh, I tried. But because I didnt know anything about nutrition and had plenty of excuses for not exercising, its not a surprise.
This dress, this beautiful dress, was still in the closet. I couldnt part with it, but I couldnt wear it.
(Sad music here) My friend lost her husband unexpectedly. Massive sudden heart attack. (Happy music) She got remarried and had her own child last summer.
Another set of friends recently got married under similar circumstances. Long relationship and *finally* decided to get hitched. Black tie wedding with DH in the wedding party. I decided to see if the dress fit again.
And it did, better than ever. I looked fabulous. I danced my @$$ off at the wedding. And still got up the next morning and did 45 min in the hotel gym. And even though I ate my body weight in hors d'ourves, I still lost a pound that week.
This is what this community has given me. A celebration: ongoing.
Party on Wayne. Party on Garth. Party on SparkPeople.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Yes, we all know we should be getting our veggies. I thought I would show you MY favorites to keep around in the fridge. I find the hardest part of getting my veggies in, is finding the time to prep them. Its gets annoying. Each of these takes about 15 min to make, but lasts for about 2-3 days. By making these, I have them around and really have no excuses! Great guilt free "snack" for when you have the nibbles at 4 in the afternoon!
On the left, tomato, cuke, onion, carrot, snow peas, peppers and some italian dressing (homemade here, but I've used bottle before). If you REALLY want a lunch salad that will last you all day , add some white beans here. On the right, a mixure of greens, washed, dried and ready to go. (From my garden here: arugula, spinach, kale & red leaf) When it comes time to eat, grab a handful of greens, plop some of the chopped veggies on top. They are already dressed, so you can eat in 30 sec. Or just skip the lettuce.
Add a splash (1/2 c) of juice (apple here, everything works, although I'm not a big personal fan of Orange - its too dominant) to a bowl. Add banana, pear, oranges, strawberries, mango, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi. Fresh is best, frozen is ok. You can add 1-2 dried fruits (raisins & apricots are my favorite, but DH doesnt like, so I started leaving out) to thicken the "sauce" that develops at the bottom. The sugar in the juice pulls out some of the juice in the fruit (osmosis, for my science geek friends) and ties the whole thing together. And it keeps your banana, pears and apples from turning brown.
Its a great smoothie base too. Grownups can add a dash of liquor for a party dessert. Bring a can of whipped cream and some purchased angelfood cake for some jaw dropping BBQ dessert action! (Put the cream in with the beer until its time to serve).
Strive for 5, stretch for 6, skinny with 7! (Servings a day, that is)
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Needed to pick up DH's tux and then head to the wedding rehearsal & dinner. I had been good all day in anticipation of the dinner....and I was STARVING. So we decide a quick swing thru Wendy's for Frosty's would do the trick. And we split a med Fry too.
Only the cashier gave us Mediums instead of smalls. 750 calories of "Snack" later and I'm annoyed that out of my well planned day, I would have been On Track, but instead I was Way Over.
Frostys = Diet Bomb. (Delicious, and I wasnt hungry, which was good because we didnt actually get to the dinner until 3 hours later...but still)
(Yes there are better choices I could have gotten, but I had been good and figured a small Frosty wouldnt break the bank. WRONG!)
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