OPTIMIST1948   27,276
25,000-29,999 SparkPoints
OPTIMIST1948's Recent Blog Entries

Dear Body,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dear Body,*
I am putting you on notice. We had a lot of excuses last week.

DH was on vacation.
It was too hot.
You were tired from staying out late the night before.

You talk alot of smack about how "Oh, its hard, but everyone can do a triathlon." Well, is it true?

Time to put your muscle where your mouth is. We spent 30 min yesterday creating a day-by-day training program based on the book. In the absence of other guidance, you are BEHOLDEN to that schedule.

This morning, yes, we were rattled a little bit. We were going to go outside but thundering downpours forced a re-evaluation. Good job on getting to the gym. We'll forgive you for doing 40 min instead of 45 on the bike. I know those last 5 min were hard, but you did good on your treadmill mile. And then we made it for yoga.

Now yoga is getting canceled, so you are going to get rattled again. DONT BE.

You're on notice. No excuses. Pedal at 80-100 rpm every day. (or run, or swim)

Unless its a rest day. If you are doing this training thing right, you're going to need them.


*I know, I totally stole XRSIZE18's format. What can I say - Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XRSIZE18 6/26/2012 1:56PM

    Awww.... *blushes* shucks!

I hope your body and mind respond promptly!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GODIVADSG 6/26/2012 1:12PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
-SONIA- 6/26/2012 10:35AM

    emoticonblog!! emoticon


Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 6/25/2012 9:39PM

    I was frustrated after missing two days at the gym last week. Guess I am not perfect. LOL I don't need to put my body on notice, but I do need to do that with my mind!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Way to go! I like the idea of putting your body on notice!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOGLADY13 6/25/2012 7:30PM

    Way to put yourself on notice. LOL.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALHINTON891 6/25/2012 3:38PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
ANIMAL_L0VER 6/25/2012 2:07PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

    I have to smile that you posted this after only one "off" week, but it's good, 'cause it's a lot easier to nix the excuses if you do it right away. Good for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZANNBEE 6/25/2012 12:36PM

    Awesome blog. Love it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BIGPAWSUP 6/25/2012 12:35PM

    That's awesome! Yes, you can do it! Great attitude!


Report Inappropriate Comment

I dare you to TRI it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

1. Are you in reasonable health, free from injury, asthma or any other condition that means serious and strenuous exercise could actually be harmful?
2. Are you capable of doing exercise for 1.5 to 2 hours? Something on the order of a 2 hr Zumba party, playing basketball or soccer, or cross country skiing.
3. Can you walk briskly for 60 min. This means you can walk a 5k, now you just need to get faster.
4. Can you swim, with any stroke, for 30 min? You can swim 0.5 miles.
5. Can you ride a bike for 60 min? You can pedal 12 miles.
6. Are you ok with not coming in first? Can you put your ego aside and race against the clock and yourself? There are precious few of those natural athletes out there, and I wouldnt want anyone to be disheartened if in their first outing, they got 94 of 102. There are always people who are faster than you.

Lastly, how do you feel about temp tattoos and wetsuits?

Dare to live. DARE TO TRI.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XRSIZE18 6/20/2012 7:05PM

    Hehe! I love that you're such a big advocate for triathlons now! You can definitely tell that you had some fun.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AROCHFORD 6/19/2012 11:09AM

    Love this post!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANIMAL_L0VER 6/19/2012 10:54AM

    I love that you're loving this and still on a post Tri high! Unfortunately with my ankles I can't run at all... I desperately want to do a 5k at some point, and am hoping my ankles will improve as I lose more weight. But I'm glad you've found something you love and are so positive about it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOGLADY13 6/18/2012 8:51PM

    How do I feel about temporary tattoos and wetsuits?

That's kinda personal.


Report Inappropriate Comment

    Still feeling the triathlon high, huh? I love that you are so happy about it! I have several reasons why I'd never want to do a tri, but you, other SparkFriends, and some in-person friends have me really thinking about it. A nearby town has a First Try triathlon every year, with 1/2 the distances of a sprint tri and coaches at the transitions. 2013 might be my year. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 6/18/2012 4:27PM

    You make it sound so possible. I'm going to get through my first 5k before thinking of anything else.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/18/2012 3:06PM

    I do not qualify, but I can make progress towards it!

Thank you for giving me something to aim for.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VIXSTERLU 6/18/2012 1:48PM

    I was scheduled to do a TRI in July :( That will have to wait. You are an inspiration!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BIGPAWSUP 6/18/2012 1:05PM

    You make it sound easy. I'm being a chicken about doing a 5K.

But you are awesome!

Report Inappropriate Comment

And then I set my car on fire

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"When you hit a bump in the road, its like getting a flat tire on your car. You dont go around to the other 3 tires and put holes in them. You change the tire and get back on the road."

I've heard this quote from many Sparkers, complaining that they went over their numbers today, got sucked into the birthday cake at work, weren't able to make it to the gym etc and it derailed their whole weight loss.

I joined Team RWB (Red, White & Blue) which is devoted to helping veterans reintegrate to society after service by keeping up with exercise. While (of course) I support our troops, the real reason I joined is they have a Triathlon Training Team at West Point.


I got an email from the troop leader that they were doing a Flag Day 5K tomorrow and would I like to join them? Of course! But the tomorrow turned out to be yesterday and there I was, all bummed out, ready to run early on a Sunday morning.

So after allowing myself a 20 min pity party, I hopped on my bike and went over to the local high school track and did 2 miles of Tempo Runs. Then I did 10 min up and down the bleacher stairs. Then I biked home.

Total burned 674 calories in 1:15 hours. And I spent 15 min talking with a guy on the Track about SparkPeople, calorie/nutrient tracking and Triathlons.

Of course I am sad I didnt get to meet everyone. But that's no reason to set the car on fire. I got myself this far and I can continue to go on without them -- at least for a little bit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTTERFLY-1976 6/19/2012 1:19PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GODIVADSG 6/19/2012 10:35AM

    Way to go! Love the bleachers! What an inspiration!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BJPENNY70 6/18/2012 11:34AM

    I liked the illustration you used with the flat tire. Way to go with your exercise. We all get in a slump. Not staying there and pulling ourself out of it is the key. Great job! You are off and running again. Keep it up!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Great Blog!! And great way to get over your pity party!

Report Inappropriate Comment
YDAVIS23 6/17/2012 8:51PM

    Wow, nice workout! You rock!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOGLADY13 6/17/2012 8:38PM

    Way to go on turning disappointment into victory!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BIGPAWSUP 6/17/2012 7:35PM

    emoticon That is awesome. You sill did what you needed to and got your exercise in. Everyone should be proud of you!


Report Inappropriate Comment

    You are emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAMABEE480 6/17/2012 1:03PM

    Way to go on working out despite the disappointment!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 6/17/2012 12:55PM

    I hope you get to meet them soon. I am just in awe of anyone who can finish a triathalon!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JERSYGRL 6/17/2012 12:29PM

    What a great blog! It is a matter of just deciding that we are not going to set the car on fire, we are not going to have a pity party. Then following Nike's advice for exercise - Just do it. Thank you for your motivation!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCIFIMOM 6/17/2012 11:41AM

  Whew! I'm just glad that you didn't really set your ACTUAL CAR on fire, girl. Because I'm related to people who actually have done that...


Report Inappropriate Comment
SLUNDQUIS 6/17/2012 11:38AM

    It's great you are motivated to make these changes. I like that you "didn't set the car on fire." Sometimes it just takes a change in our perspectives before we can move forward.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Triathlon (5 of 5): Epilogue

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I just wanted to lose weight.

Six months ago, JennSwims posted that she did a Personal Tri at her gym and it wasnt too bad. Shortly after DogLady13 also posted about her Personal Tri. As much as I loved Zumba, I was intrigued by the challenge. Both made it seem so do-able. I knew I could do all of those distances individually; my challenge was doing them all in the same day.

Having a goal to work towards is a terrific motivator, as long as its a goal you choose for yourself. In progress to my goal, I've logged over 300 miles according to my tracker – at least 100 of which have been on my bike, according to that computer. It doesn't seem like much for you hardcore fitness people out there – but if you told me in January that I WOULD do it – I would have thought you were nuts and shoved another zeppoli in my mouth.

I had no coach other than what I was able to gather from the Internets and reading books. Every book I read came with a recommended training program – which I completely ignored. It didnt feel right to me. If I run for 20 min, I get 2 miles. If all I was doing was following the program, I would not have made it. My focus was to be able to complete the distances. That's it. For where I was in my fitness, that was an appropriate training goal. Each day, I chose something: Swim, Bike, Run, based on the available time, what I did the day before and what equipment I wanted to haul along...and sometimes the weather (hmm, its raining. I'll swim today!). For me, this WAS the right plan. Now, I want to get faster, so I'm looking at those training plans with a fresh eye. If I do 20 min of Fartleks and a 10 min cooldown, maybe I'll get faster. Maybe if I spend 45 min doing hill drills on the bike, maybe I can chew them up next time. What ST would be appropriate? All good questions – NOW I need to find a coach.

Because there WILL be a next time. I only committed to do one. I didnt know whether this is a lifestyle change or a bucket list item. But everyone needs a hobby and in these last few days, I think begin a triathlete will be good both for my physical and mental health. Despite the fact that my sister thinks I fell and hit my head on the sidewalk.

Next Tri will be West Point on August 19th. More stinkin' hills, but its in my backyard. There is an easier one at the end of the month, but it doesnt leave enough recovery time to do Danskin at Sandy Hook, NJ on Sept 9th. Its going to be Doglady's first and I would love to see her since we two have been each other's cheerleaders since this began. (I can't commit at this point because I dont know if I'll be working. Work is good, but would mean no time to go that far.) So that's three in my first year.


New gear is limited because of the availability of funds. I'm going to need new sneakers. I want a reflective vest that I could use for biking, running or motorcycling in dim light. I'd like a pair of hard soled sneakers for biking. Ironman tried to convince me that there are special clips you can buy that are easier to get out of. I'm clumsy and skeptical. I know he would be thrilled to get me up there to try them out, but its an hour ride to his shop and it just all seems a bit to hardcore for someone of my ability.

I just wanted to lose weight.

94th out of 102. Almost 2 ½ hours. Sheesh.

Gotta get that time under 2 hours. Eight weeks. Better get moving.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXIT22222 6/22/2012 5:25PM

    I just read all of your 'triathlon' blogs. Love how you separated it out. I am signing up soon (not signed up yet) for my first tri the end of july. You've given me a lot to think about here.

I would say I was very skeptical about clip less pedals for a LONG TIME. YEARS! About a month ago I let my husband talk me in to some. He recommends a brand or type called 'frogs' rather than the kind that have springs. (I seriously don't know what he talks about). He says the 'frogs' are designed for easy get out. It took some getting use to them but I just have to say every time I ride my bike I love them even more.

You get more power with your legs and are forced to pedal correctly! Just some info for you that you didn't even ask for.

Great tri recap! thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VIXSTERLU 6/18/2012 1:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You rocked it!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZANNBEE 6/16/2012 10:22AM

    Way to go! Your enthusiasm is contageous. So happy for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KBSPARKY 6/15/2012 4:00PM

    Congrats on completing the tri. I am impressed! This has helped motivate me to start thinking on some specific goals for myself.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHYOTTER 6/15/2012 2:31PM

    94 out of 102 and FIRST PLACE in your age division! My goal, too, has been just to finish the distances, regardless of time. I did switch from regular pedals to clip pedals with the special shoes. From BikeNashbar, the pedals were about 35.00, SPD pedals. Shoes from there were about 28 dollars. The shoes lace up; they're not velcro, which would speed up transition. It's definitely a practice skill to clip my feet in, and especially to unclip when I need to put a foot down. It's been a week, and I very gently fell once. I put the clips on a pretty "loose" setting. For now, I'm more worried about unclipping than anything else! The clip pedals keep my legs in better alignment, much fewer knee issues than I was having before. My big cha-ching, switched from a craigslist MTB to a new road bike (last year's model on sale). My bike speed went from 8min mile on MTB to 5 min mile on road bike with much less effort on the road bike for "hills that would make you weep" I'm so impressed with your fortitude, determination. I'm also so very grateful for the blogs to help me envision what I'll be facing in a few weeks.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BIGPAWSUP 6/15/2012 1:23PM

    You are beyond amazing. I can't even imagine and you are planning to do more. Way to Go! I might not be there but I will be cheering you on!

Go get 'em!


Report Inappropriate Comment
ANIMAL_L0VER 6/15/2012 10:40AM

    This is amazing! Good for you, and keep reporting! I love to hear about my spark friends' achievements!

Report Inappropriate Comment
YDAVIS23 6/15/2012 6:16AM

    Girl, you blow my mind. Congrats, I tip my hat to you.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I love the way you write and your whole approach to this triathlon: you did what worked for you, and ignored everything else. And guess what? It was the right choice!! You did it! Soooooo awesome!!!

It sounds like you're hooked, and I really like that you're planning enough recovery time between races.

I also really like that you're planning to be able to support DOGLADY13 is her first. Very important to have support along the way.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOGLADY13 6/15/2012 12:16AM

    What??? Did I understand that? Are you planning to do Sandy Hook? (I'm tired. I've Had Quite The Day. I may be delusional and that's OK. If I misunderstood, just dope slap me.)

I think I'm signing on the dotted line for a cottage for Sandy Hook tomorrow, now that I'm pretty sure my job is secure. Gotta triple check with the Hubster. It's 2 bed rooms. One could have your name on it.

You can totally do Sandy Hook in far less than 2.5 hours. It's flatter than my chest. Not one hill. Not even a bump.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GODIVADSG 6/14/2012 10:17PM

    Way to go!! It is soooooo fun!! I have found some great deals on ebay with cycling shoes...

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITFORMYFAMILY 6/14/2012 10:02PM

    You're hooked! I love it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 6/14/2012 10:00PM

    You make me want to jump up and down and cheer!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Triathlon (4 of 5): Run

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ahh. The 5K.18 months ago I did my first, the New Paltz Turkey Trot. I weighed 197 lbs. Every time my foot hit the ground, the floor didnt shake, but my fat definitely jiggled. I could feel the flab-momentum (flab-mentum?) in my joints.

One of the trainers at my gym (and a triathlete herself) swore to me that it would get better. I remember laying in bed one morning in March this year poking at my legs and thinking that my bones felt stronger. In 6 month, I've worked 20 lbs of ass off and I don't feel cartilage banging together when I run any more.

I've done 2 additional 5Ks since, the Turkey Trot again and the Orange County Chopper 5K. I had a personal best on the OCC race: 32 min. Quick! Alert the media! (That's more irony, folks.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not fast. For many people 10 min/mile would be appalling. But I've come a long way. Running is the easiest thing to train since it doesnt involve much equipment other than a pair of shoes. I run when I have to shoehorn in a workout with other commitments. Sneakers, Door, Go.

And this morning …. this pissy, rainy, gray, glorious morning....I have already swam half a mile, and biked 12 including a hill that would make you weep. All we have left is a little run in this 3rd Act? BRING IT!

...and somebody stood in my sister's way just as she took the picture. You can see my yellow shirt.

There is no two ways about it. Running right after biking stinks on ice. My legs dont want to go high enough for a proper step, so each effort only gets me about half the distance a normal stride would go. I'm running in goo. The route is beautifully marked with cones into the woods. I'm glad I did so much running on the gravel paths at my MILs house. This footing could be tricky, but I've got experience on my side. The path goes down to a second beach and then past a playground onto the roads. My mind wanders to Child and coming back next year. I passed signs for hiking trails that look interesting. My sister is an avid hiker. I wish the weather was nicer and we could go for a walk after the Race is done.

Maybe delirium is starting in.

The hills are no more challenging than the ones on my regular run. It just feels like it goes on forever. I finally pass the one mile marker with a huge sense of disbelief. Maybe I got on the Olympic course by mistake? But no, the sign says “Sprint 1” I have to own it. I gave myself permission to walk up the hills. Flats & downs, get moving feet! Lots of people coming in the opposite direction, but when I look forward and backwards, I'm on my own.

When I first started running 6 months ago, Jillian Michaels would scream in my head “Get Moving!” Now, its my own voice I hear. Idily my mine turns over ideas as my feet keep going. Hey, wait, I can see the turn around from here! Kindly volunteers offer water or Heed, but I'm too excited. I'm Mimi, doing her aria in the 5th act – although why I want to be a dying woman I'm not really sure. Maybe because the end is in sight. Just as I am about to finish, another Sprint competitor is coming towards me! I'M NOT LAST!! We fist bump as we go past.

There is honor in being last. You were working harder than anyone else for longer than anyone else.

“What do you call the last guy in the class at Medical School? Doctor.”

I fishhook around to go to the finish line. Another Sprinter who finished earlier sees me coming. There's no kick left in my caboose; she paces me to keep me going the last 100 yards into the finish line. My sister takes my picture. A volunteer hands me a finishers medal. I know I wasn't first. I know I wasnt last. My goal was to finish. And I did.

Notice: there are only two dry spots on my entire body, one on each hip.

I'm exhausted. Exhilarated. I feel the same way I did when I finished my first 5K. I did the best job I could on the training I did. I went as hard and fast as I could without throwing up or passing out. We toddle over to the race fair to see if I can find out my results. They are printing them out every 10 minutes or so, but I'm not on that collection of sheets. I would have to wait for the next round. I eat half a banana with peanut butter. I try some Chocolate Powder Nutrition drink that the caterer has. I drink some water.

As my core temperature goes down, I start to realize how completely soaked I am. We try to say hello to Ironman in his booth, but he's having computer problems and is being pulled this way by his boss and that way by someone on the phone that needs something. My sister wants to buy me a shirt that says “Run Like A Mother” - but I dont really need it. I need a reflective vest for biking at night and she's already been REALLY generous with her time: she found the B&B, put it on her credit card, stood around in the rain for hours.

No, its time to pack up and go. We head back to the B&B, I take my sister on the first crazy hill from the bike run and she started giggling nervously. “I would have given up.” We pass one lone rider from the Olympic race coming back with two police motorcycles on her tail. Her face is grim, but she's holding on and going as not-fast as her legs can. I know the feeling. She's not racing. She's enduring.

We shower. I stretch and called DH to let him know I survived. I use hot water to thaw my now thoroughly chilled insides. We return the keys to the B&B and seek out food. A local diner obliges and I eat a pork souvlaki with such vigor, my sister is afraid I'm going to loose a finger. Then we're on the scenic route to Vermont for my Uncle's 65th birthday party. We stopped in Troy and walk from the bookstore to the bakery for some party treats. It's the longest mile I have ever walked. Hey, my sister needs her exercise too. The fat doesn't melt itself.

I decided to leave my tattoos on as long as possible. 1) it will amuse Child – he's 5, we're veteran temporary tattoo artists. I spend a big chunk of the party talking Triathlon with people: evangelizing. 2) If I take them off, it means the experience is over. I dont want to look at the pictures for the same reason. I finally force myself to take them off the camera.

Finally I checked the race results and got the surprise of my life.
Athena 39 & Under - 1st place.

What??!? Slow duckling, first timer made a first place???! Well how about that!
Here are my times:
Swim- 20:11
T1- 4:44
Bike – 1:19:03
T2 – 1:08
Run – 39:06
Total 2:24:12

Dont get too excited, I was 94th overall out of 102. First place made it in 1:10:14. But when I checked with Ironman when I returned the wetsuit he said my First Place still counts! Geeze, I wish I had known. Apparently, I should have gotten some kind of award at the event. Who'da thunk it tho?

Of course, who would have thunk I would do a Triathlon. Just goes to show YOU.

Epilogue: Some thoughts on training, improvements, next steps and new gear.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AROCHFORD 6/16/2012 5:39AM

    Congrats! Wonderful detailed descriptions! Way to go on 1st place;)

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHYOTTER 6/15/2012 1:16PM

    Yea, yea, yea yea! First or last, you did it! I'm so impressed! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOGLADY13 6/15/2012 12:10AM

    I have nothing more to say. There are no more superlatives.

You are amazing.
You inspire me.
You give me hope.
You rock.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LUVS2BIKE101 6/14/2012 9:39PM

    You're doing great!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZANNBEE 6/14/2012 11:07AM

    Congratulations! So proud of you. Loved this series of blogs!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITFORMYFAMILY 6/14/2012 10:13AM

    Your determination and perseverance are really remarkable! The whole thing just sounded so... hard! My legs felt like jello during a long run the other night and it was tough to push through. I can't imagine trying to push myself through after a tough swim and bike. You did GREAT!

I think it's awesome that one of the other Sprinters paced you in at the end and that your sister was so supportive for you. I love encouragers!

Report Inappropriate Comment
YDAVIS23 6/14/2012 5:55AM

    Girl, I don't know if it's the fact that I am really over tired or what, but this blog got me all choked up! I am SO PROUD of you - and so itching to have that "conquering the world" feeling myself. You did GREAT. And I LOVE the finish line photo!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANIMAL_L0VER 6/13/2012 2:05PM

    Just playing spark catchup and read your last 4 blogs... YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all about your experience. I'm so happy for you and proud of you and a teensy bit jealous! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIELENORE 6/13/2012 9:25AM

    WOOHOO!! I loved hearing the story of your triathalon. Definitely better than watching TV!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    You're so awesome!!

And anyone who gives you any grief about your time or your placement or anything... well, they're just jealous because you're so awesome that you finished a triathlon!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BIGPAWSUP 6/13/2012 8:23AM

    That was just awesome! I'm so proud of you. I know I couldn't have done it.

What an accomplishment. You deserve to strut your stuff.


Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 Last Page