Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Better late than never!

A tad bit late on the blog delivery, but here's last week's report!

To start with, a little pat on my own back.  Swim team pictures came out last week, and I was ecstatic to see how good I looked. I emailed my parents a copy of the swim team picture, and they forwarded it on to my siblings who all told me how great I look!  Meanwhile, I cropped the picture and placed it next to last year's team picture.  I still have a hard time seeing the progress I've made (I mean I KNOW it's a huge improvement, but my eyes deceive me)...Sorry about the smears, I didn't get permission from my swimmers to post them on my blog, so I blobbed them out!
Last year........................this year!

I slept in on Monday morning, after my practice triathlon on Sunday.  I don't do so well with waking up in the dark.  My body is telling me I should still be abed...it's a good thing I have a walking partner to make me get up twice a week!  Monday after work I swam at the club - a mile swim at a relaxed pace.  Tuesday I got up early to meet Berta for our 4.75 mile walk up the Lincoln Grade.  I think it's more difficult in the dark...you can't see where you're going or how far you've come, just feel the burn in the calves and see the stars above your head.  With the addition of 1/2 a mile, our walk has extended to about an hour and 35 to 40 minutes instead of an hour and 22 minutes.  We also start out with the steepest part of the grade right at the get go.  Ever since we were almost run over by a truck racing up the steep part of the hill I think we race up as fast as we can go, so the old heart is pounding away and doesn't get much rest.
What I see when it finally lightens up...

I decided to ride my bike to practice Tuesday afternoon.  Not sure of the mileage, but it took about 20-25 minutes to get there, then after practice I had to ride up hill.  I was proud of myself for my hard work and had just topped the last hill before I turned and had a flat finish when the back end of my bike felt squishy.  My first flat : (  I guess I should have tried out the new bike pump to learn how it worked...I couldn't make it happen!  So I called Kaylin, thinking he was sitting at home, and learned that he was on his way home and almost to my location.  He said he'd pick me up...While waiting I finally got the pump to work, but the tire wouldn't hold enough air.  We loaded my Strada into the back seat of Kay's Honda and drove the half mile home with the rear passenger door open.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my bike?!
My Strada...

Wednesday I decided to skip the pool as the swim team was planning to hike the grade for practice, so I speed walked the grade with the girls, jogging in a few places.  I was jogging back down at a good slow clip when I realized the other coaches had turned around, so I went back up almost to the top to wait for the last group to get to me, then had to walk to stay with them all the way back to the pool.  I probably did 4.75 miles.
Another view from the Lincoln Grade...

Thursday I didn't get an opportunity to exercise what with packing to head to Oregon, feeding the animals, etc.  So I got a day of rest-ish...After practice we hopped in the car and headed to Portland, arriving at about 10:00 pm.  Just in time to visit for a few minutes, then trundle off to sleep.
Hungry goats...

We left Portland Friday morning at about 7:00 am to head to Corvallis for Kassidy's band preview at Oregon State University.  It was a full day listening to financial aid and application information, watching Kassidy get to play with a couple of ensemble bands, getting a campus tour (though my kids got annoyed at Kaylin and I giving our own asides from our years at OSU - go Beavs!!), meeting up with Lex so she could go birthday shopping with Rylie, and finally watching the OSU Marching Band practice.  I think Kassidy has decided she definitely wants to go to OSU!

After the band preview we headed over to Lon's house where we got to hang out with the family for a couple of hours and were fed an excellent dinner of hamburgers and yummy green beans and salad, then got pumpkin spice cupcakes for dessert!  Before the sugar could make us sleepy we headed over to the coast, and fell face first into bed!

                     Rylie as a mermaid...                                     
                                                                                                       Kassidy's impish grin...

Saturday morning we ate an excellent, calorie dense breakfast at the Drift Inn in Yachats, perused the aquarium and shark exhibit in Newport, then chowed through clam chowder, fried clams, and fried shrimp at Rogue Ale.  Then we purchased plenty of salt water taffy from a shop on the bayfront and headed back to the beach house.  At this point I was feeling sufficiently guilty to jog on the beach.  I ended up going about 4 miles, most of which I jogged, though I must admit to walking a bit at the 2 mile mark and the 3.25 mile mark, and the 3.5 mile mark.  But that was all!  At that point I wanted to lie on the couch and not move, but we went into town to get a few groceries for dinner (yummm, pizza) and movie 300 so Rylie could write a report for school.  All in all it was a great day!
Me during my beach run...

Sunday was spent cleaning and driving, so obviously I didn't get any exercise in.  This made me extremely nervous for weigh-in today...especially since last week I gained a pound.  The scale this morning has me at the same weight as last week (phew!)...so I've got some self-motivating to do!

Hope you keep yourself motivated and hopping!

The (lazing) Marsupial Maven!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunny Fall Sprint Triathlon Day!

Looks like I'm on a roll - a post on schedule!  After a long day Saturday for the high school swim meet (which we won!), I decided I needed to complete another sprint distance tri practice on Sunday morning.  I woke up a bit late - to a beautiful sunny fall day.  I was able to convince Rylie and Kaylin to do some of the workout with me. 

The plan was for all of us to leave the house together, then about half way through the ride Kaylin would split off and head home to await our call to meet us down at the club with my swim stuff.

The bike ride progressed as planned, though Rylie and I stopped a few times to let Kaylin catch up.  We thouroughly enjoyed the scenery and the smell of ripe grapes in the air.  At the track I managed to jog 3.25 miles in 37 minutes.  That calculates out to 11:22 minute miles.  I kept the pace steady throughout.  Apparently Rylie thought my jog was photo worthy...

At the club I managed to swim 500 yards in 8 and a half minutes.  All in all it was a great day!

Last week I swam 1.25 miles on Monday, 1 mile on Wednesday, hiked the grade on Tuesday and Thursday (4.75 miles), and biked 8 and a half miles on Friday (with Rylie), in addition to the sprint distance triathlon practice today (12.5 mile bike ride, 3.25 mile jog, 500 yard swim).

Despite my hard efforts exercising, I was a bit of a slacker in the nutrition department.  I didn't journal every day and I snacked a lot.  My goal for next week is to journal everything and to eat better!  If the weather is gorgeous, I'm going to try to convince Kaylin to join me in a short bike ride...

Until next week, keep bounding away at something that makes you happy!

The Marsupial Maven!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Me, the Triathlete!

Ok, so daily posts are probably too ambitious for me at this time.  It's much more realistic to shoot for weekly posts and see if that goes any better.

So I left off with a teaser - telling you I had planned a half-sprint triathlon for myself, then didn't tell you how it went.  Such a bad storyteller!  Or a major cliffhanger?!

Here I am, updating you!

Sunday, September 15th, 2013 I set off on my bike, via a roundabout route, into town and the high school track.  With me were my two daughters (Kassidy and Rylie), and my DH (Kaylin).  My goal at the track was to jog as much of the mile and a half as I could manage.  Guess what?  I did the whole thing!  At first it felt horrible, so I had to talk to myself and convince myself that my legs felt better than when doing the Lincoln grade.  Then a funny thing happened...I settled into a groove.  At the finish I knew I could have kept jogging, so on the brief bike ride from the track to the fitness club I decided that next Sunday I would do 2/3 of a Sprint Triathlon.  I completed a 300 yard swim, and feeling just fine, definitely decided to increase my distance next week. 

I was very proud of my family for following along, despite the fact that they didn't complete as many miles as I did!  Kaylin even walked 3/4 of a mile at the track!

Art Fiker Stadium

I felt so great about the morning, that I decided to travel to REI to look at triathlon equipment, including road bikes.  I hadn't reached my 50 pound weight loss, but knew that this was the time of year that bikes would be on clearance.

At the Richland REI I found an awesome Novara Strada.  This is a men's bike, in red and white.  I'm a tall girl and after trying out the women's and men's version, decided that the men's bikes definitely fit me best.  The bike,  normally $1150.00 was on sale for $659.00.  I convinced Kaylin that I wasn't likely to find a better bargain, and left the store the proud owner of a new road bike!  Incidentally, Rylie decided that she wanted to buy the women's version, same price!  On the way home I vowed not to ride my bike until I lost the last 7 pounds to reach 50 pounds lost.  Rylie informed me that this was ridiculous!  She said "That's the same as saying you're not going to walk on a new treadmill until you lose 50 pounds.  If you walk on the treadmill you'll lose the weight faster!"  What a smart cookie!

My new Novara Strada!  And my Nutcase helmet (isn't it cute)!

The following Sunday, September 22nd, we set out to complete 2/3 of a Sprint Triathlon.  Rylie and I took off on our new bikes, leaving Kaylin and Kassidy in the dust on their mountain bikes.  I had just finished 3/4 of a mile at the track when they got there.  I kept chugging away until I completed 2 miles, this time with a positive attitude and a grateful sense of accomplishment.  We rode our bikes to the pool to swim 400 yards, then went to FroYo for a celebratory yogurt for lunch.  I decided during my 4th scoop of yogurt that next week I would try for a complete Sprint distance triathlon training.

Sunday, September 29th:
No one else wanted to join me, in fact, I felt like I was battling the world in getting to go.  Rylie had spent the night at a friend's house, so she wasn't home, Kassidy's hip hurt, and Kaylin was whining about needing to clean the garage.  I told him to send Kassidy to pick me up at the fitness center...

So I set out on my bike on the route I mapped out on google earth (awesome tool).  Only once did a dog jump out at me - during the downhill portion into town.  I cried a little during my 3.1 mile jog, but out of happiness that this body that I have a hard time loving could do so much for me.  I finished my 500 yard swim and noted that my polar watch clocked the entire trip at 2 hours, 2 minutes from when I left the house, until I hit the wall in the pool.

It was a bit of a grouchy day as Kaylin was complaining about not getting much accomplished due to the fact that he decided to pick me up instead of sending Kassidy, then didn't tell me he was waiting on me to finish to pick Rylie up from the friend's house...

Not sure which grump he reminds me of more...

So that brings us to this last Sunday, October 6th:
I managed to convince Kaylin to join me for some of the bike portion of my training.  He started out on Rylie's bike, but after a few miles I traded him bikes.  A few miles later he decided to head back home, so we traded back.  I hope he enjoyed himself a bit - I'm trying to get him into riding his bicycle again!

Kaylin is way too small to see in the distance...but he's there!

I rode into town by myself and completed my 5K jog and 500 yard swim.  I hit the wall in the same 2 hours and 2 minutes, but subtracting the time I spent stopped waiting for Kaylin to catch up means that I probably did it about 5 minutes faster than last week!  Yay me!

Me and my Strada!

So that's my triathlon training in summation...hope you're all caught up!

Keep bounding away at something you love!

The Marsupial Maven!

Monday, September 16, 2013


I've already started slacking off in the blogging department!  At least I've been busy exercising and having fun with the family...

So I got you up to speed on how I got to be 260 lbs, and how I lost 40 lbs (41.5 to date).  And I've let you in on a little secret about how I have become a triathlete.  I guess I can call myself a triathlete as I swim several days a week, bike several days a week, and hike several days a week.  As of this morning, my bi-weekly hike now includes a jogging portion.  I jogged almost the entire distance down the grade, minus a couple of really steep parts that I decided I didn't want to slide down on my butt...but the great news?!  I also jogged a few parts going up the grade.  Nothing much and nothing for long, but I jogged in 3 separate sections going UPHILL!  Rylie will be so proud!  Kassidy will probably just shrug and talk about how Austin drove her nuts at school today.  And Rylie's pride will be very short lived - she gets tired of me talking about my weight and exercise...but TOO BAD!  I have to brag to someone!

A shot of Lincoln Grade nearing the top...
 Kassidy and Rylie sleeping in the car - just getting even with them early!

We purchased a boat from the in-laws a couple weeks ago, and have since gone out on it at any available opportunity.  Did you know that holding onto a tube tied behind a boat going 20 mph actually takes muscles?  Raise your hand if you knew that!  Wait, I can't lift my arm, there's muscles in places I forgot existed and they are protesting - seems I had too much fun!  Or maybe Kaylin tried too hard to make me defy gravity while tubing...
My tubing extravaganza!

Kaylin on waterskis
My 20 year anniversary was on August 21st.  My husband asked how I wanted to celebrate, and I made him take me hiking at Mr. Rainier.  We went 5 1/2 miles and climbed about 900 feet to a lookout.  It was really cloudy, so not many views, but we saw mountain goats galore!  I love goats...I wanted to take a longer route back, but Kaylin was too tired and almost to the point of tears, so I relented and went back the shorter way.  I bought myself a celebratory mug to remember the anniversary and hike.  As soon as cold weather hits I'll be using said mug on a daily basis!
Hiking Mt. Rainier for the ol' 20th Anniversary

So I weighed in this morning (weekly weigh-ins and reporting days are Tuesday) at 218.5.  This was great as I have been at about 219-221 for a month and a half...the weight is down 2 lbs from last week, and down 1 lb from my lowest reported weight.  Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago I weight once at 217 unofficially, so I still have to get past that point before I will truly feel back on track.

My latest comparison photo...
To help keep my motivation going, I have decided to stage a mini-triathlon on Sunday.  Kass, Ry, and I will swim at the Fitness club for 250 yards, bike for 6 miles through town, ending at the high school track, and jog/walk 1.5 miles.  I plan on doing this several times before the actual Sprint Triathlon we will be completing in July.  And to put my money where my mouth is, I have contacted the Chamber of Commerce in the town the event will take place, and they just put me in touch with the guy in charge.  As soon as they will allow me, I will be registering the three of us!  Kaylin has stated he has no desire to complete the event, but will gladly cheer us on and take plenty of pictures.  Not sure how I feel about that...actually less stressed than I should be!  I'm actually starting to enjoy seeing pictures of myself because I can see progress and know that I am doing what needs to be done to become a healthier, more active person!

A group of people at the Splash and Dash...
Not us, but we'll totally go for a similar pose!

As we only had 2 functional bikes yesterday, and three people plan to do a mini-triathlon on Sunday, I sent Kaylin to Goodwill on his way home from work yesterday.  He diligently went, found a bike that is old, but will be great for us to use, and only cost us $32.49 with tax!

I've been hungrily devouring Meredith Atwood's (Swim Bike Mom) book "Triathlon for the Every Woman" and picking up great tips.  It's also getting me more excited about actually completing my first tri.  In the book Meredith talks about setting three types of goals:  Quick Goals that can be achieved in 1-2 months, a Main Goal that can be achieved in about a year, and a Crazy Goal that you doubt you could ever achieve.  My quick goals are several mini-tri's, followed by some self-imposed Sprint Tri's, then an actual Sprint Tri in July 2014.  My main goal is an Olympic Distance Tri.  This event is a mile swim, 25 miles bike ride, and a 10K.  I think this is a good goal because I can do each of the elements today (as long as the roads are flat and I can walk/jog the 10k) as stand alones, but the thought of stringing them together is a little scary.  I would love to be in a place next August or September to be able to put them together.  That would be an accomplishment I could be proud of and will keep me working all winter to achieve!

I guess I should stop for the day!  I'll try to get better at blogging daily - until next time, keep bounding away at something you love!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Continuing on...

So yesterday I outlined the past and sort of brought you up to date.  Except not quite...

I let you off at my family reunion in July, which was one of my milestones.  Let me back up again to fill you in on some more information.

My mom and I spoke way back in March about specific goals and how we would achieve them.  At that time I stated that I had 3 weight goals.  My first BIG goal was to get below 200 lbs, which would require me to lose 60 lbs.  My second goal is to get to 175, my lightest weight since I've had children.  Lastly, my doctor told me I should be able to get to 150 lbs with perseverance...

We also decided to take our measurements on a monthly basis so that when the scale slowed down or plateaued we would still have an objective means of measuring our progress and see positive results.

My initial measurements (taken on April 2nd, 2013):
Bust:  50"
Waist:  51"
Hips:  57"
Thigh:  28"
Upper Arm:  13.5"

On July 2nd, 2013:
Weight:  224
BMI:  31.9
Bust:  46.5"
Waist:  43.5"
Hips:  52"
Thigh:  24"
Upper Arm:  12.25"

So on July 2nd (my last measurement) I had lost 3.5" in my bust, 7.5" in my waist, 5" in my hips, 4" in each thigh, and 1.25" in each arm.  My BMI had gone down 5.4 points, and I had lost 36 lbs.  (I am 5' 10" tall).

My mom and I also discussed "Rewards" for our weight loss successes.
At 10 lbs lost I bought a cute dress (not a good idea, it's now way too big...)
20 lbs:  new running shoes (Love them:  New Balance Minimus in raspberry)
30 lbs:  I had to buy some more clothes for the summer
40 lbs:  2 outfits

So I had achieved a small milestone and seemed to be celebrating a bit too much.  The family vacation was followed almost immediately by another vacation, and then again by a road trip for a funeral.  A week and a half ago I found myself realizing I had to renew my excitement and get moving!  I had gained about 3 lbs. after all the vacations and travels, and that was NOT the direction I wanted to go!  It appears I forgot to take measurements in August as well...

I began looking for inspiration in blogland again - and found it!  I've been talking to my husband a lot recently about wanting to feel good enough about my body that I can compete in swimming again.  I hear about people joining Masters Swim, etc and racing for fun.  The idea was percolating...Then I was asked to swim the Parent Relay for our girls' summer swim championships (ok, I probably outright hinted myself into the relay).  I was soooo nervous, but had a blast!  My daughter and her boyfriend dragged me out of the deep end so I wouldn't DQ the team by being in the pool too long, but I had FUN!
(I wish this was me, but it's my oldest child...)

Back to blogland...I came across the blog http://www.swimbikemom.com/.  I read Meredith's story as well as the inspirational stories by other women out there, and realized:  I can do that!  Not an Ironman, but a sprint triathlon...and I got EXCITED!!!!  I could actually do this event today.  Not very quickly, but I could put all the pieces together and accomplish this seemingly impossible activity.  I said something about it to my oldest daughter, and she said "I'll do it with you!"  When I told her sister, she said she would, too!  So now we've decided that in 2014 we are doing a Sprint Triathlon.  Yesterday in the grocery store I ran into a friend who competes in triathlons and spilled the beans, and she started giving me tips and places to race...yay!
(Not me either...it's my youngest daughter...)

I told my husband that I thought a good reward for losing 50 lbs would be a bike to compete in my triathlon on...

........................and he totally agreed!

Now that I have a motivating goal in place - to complete a Sprint Triathlon in 2014 I have additional weight loss goals in mind.  I would like to lose an additional 40 lbs by race time (to 180 lbs.).  Again, it isn't the end of the world if I don't quite make it, but a triathlon at 180 is better than one at 220!

OK - now you're caught up.  I hope you keep bounding away at what makes you happy!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Once upon a time...

there was a happy, healthy, active little girl who loved to race with her brothers, play catch with her dad, jog with her mom, and swim...then she grew up.

Over the years the girl played less and stressed more and grew to be a soft, cuddly pillow for her two little girls.  Very occasionally she would look in the mirror, and not liking what she saw, she'd quickly look away.  She became more unhappy with the status quo that her life had become: her job and her body image...until one day she realized she was almost 41 and had had Enough!  Of course she had had enough several times over the years, but for some reason this time enough really was enough!  The fairy tale was over, the mirror wouldn't go smoky and hide the truth, and the girl realized that she could take over the telling of the story and make it into something to be proud of...

Fast Forward - March 12, 2013:
I made yet another agreement with my mom to support each other long distance to lose the weight.  But this time there would be no email only or avoiding the phone call so we didn't have to report a gain.  We would talk about what was working and what wasn't each week, NO MATTER WHAT!  I weighed in at 260.  This was actually down 3 lbs from my last known weigh in, so I was already off to a good start.

I began reading other people's weight loss blogs for inspiration.  Two made big impacts.  The first belongs to Andie Mitchell, canyoustayfordinner.com.  At this stage I was perusing blogs for "The Secret" to weight loss.  From Andie's story I gleaned a great idea!  Always in the past when I would begin a weight loss struggle, I would feel starved.  Andie explains that she eats tons of her favorite veggies (her favorite is roasted broccoli).  I began roasting all sorts of veggies - and I LOVE them!  I cut way back on my protein (3-4 ounces), almost entirely cut out processed carbs (breads, etc). and STUFFED myself with roasted zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, etc.  Even occasionally some roasted fingerling potatoes.  My trick?  Lay the veggies out on a silpat baking sheet, spritz lightly with olive oil, season with garlic salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Pure deliciousness!  My other favorite veggie is mushrooms sauteed in a small amount of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.  After a few months of filling myself up on veggies, I find that I can't eat as much...

The second blog I love to read is by Katie, runsforcookies.com.  I need to preface why I love Katie with some information about myself.  I, like many mothers out there, have a pouch (ergo, the marsupial reference).  I try to hide this pouch with my overlarge clothing, but deep down I know that I'm not fooling anyone.  Years ago, when my girls (who are currently 15 and 17) were 2 and 4, I weighed about 212 lbs.  I talked to my doctor, who referred me to T.O.P.S.  I joined a terrific group of ladies in Prineville, Oregon, and ended up at 175 lbs.  I felt really good about myself at that point, except that I still had a pouch of loose skin.  I couldn't tuck in shirts, etc, and had to wear loose tops to hide this skin.  Currently this pouch of skin isn't loose, it's filled with fat, but it's still a fold of skin that gets hot and sweaty and itchy, and in tight clothing looks like a front butt...ok, TMI...back to my story.  Back then I couldn't afford to have the surgery to remove the skin, and with life events, added stress, moves, a husband spending 50% of his time out of the country, etc. all those pounds came back, and then some.  Katie's blog chronicles her story of weight loss and she goes into much detail on getting her excess loose skin removed.  This has been a wish of mine since that first weight loss when I realized that just losing the weight wouldn't completely do the trick.  Thank you Katie for your honesty and details, it has helped me see the reality of the situation and has helped me understand the tribulations I will be facing.

I had some new philosophies in place, now I needed some tools to help me get there...
I knew that journaling was how I had been successful in the past, so I decided to use an app (MyFitnessPal) on my cell phone.  I had the app, but hadn't been using it well.  So I dusted it off and started journaling, again.  About this time I got an upgraded cell phone, and suddenly the app was much more user friendly.  (You can also use this program online at myfitnesspal.com)  I also pulled out my old Polar Heartrate monitor, and after some investigation found that I could even wear it swimming!  So armed with some cool techie tools, I plowed on in.  I was walking on the treadmill for 42 minutes while watching episodes of Castle, and swimming in the 17 yard pool at the fitness club a mile a day 1-2 days a week.  I was feeling pretty great and had lost about 15 lbs.

Then my bad ass baby sister came to visit and wanted to exercise with me...not wanting to disappoint her, I asked her if she wanted to do the "Grade".  If you live in Prosser, you know what I'm talking about.  (Incidentally, I just looked up the altitude gain of this baby a few minutes ago:  980'...)  We started out and to give my sister a better workout, every 5 minutes we would jog for 30 seconds, then she would walk back to me and we'd walk together until the next 5 minute time to jog.  We made it about 1/3 of the way up the grade, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  The next day she wanted to do it again.  Did I mention that I'm competitive?  I don't mean that I thought I could keep up with her, but I didn't want to look like a wimp that couldn't work out hard 2 days in a row, so I agreed to go again.  This time I wore my heart rate monitor.  Let's just say that I had to slow down to keep the monitor from screaming at me for getting my heartrate up too high.  No wonder I thought I was about to have a heart attack the day before! After Kindra left, I decided to keep walking the grade a couple days a week, so the next time she comes to visit I'll be stronger and go further.  I walked about 1/2 way up several times alone, then a woman passed me one morning as I was walking, parked and hopped out of her car and asked if I minded if she walked with me.  I have now been walking 2-3 days a week with Berta, and we go all the way to the top (the gate, not the radio towers), which is about 4.25 miles round trip.  I continue to swim 1-1.5 miles per day,1-2 days per week.
June 22, 2013 at 229 lbs (31 lbs lost)

I had set a mini-goal to try to lose 40 lbs by the time the family gathered together July 19th, 2013.  On July 18th, I weighed in at 221.5, only 1.5 lbs short of reaching my goal.  But I still consider that a success!  I'm so proud of how far I've come and decided I should share online.  Kind of putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak...I've still got some catching up left to do, but I think I'll save some for tomorrow!

Until then, hope you're bounding away at something that makes you happy!