NEXT EVENTS: IRONMAN BOULDER 2014

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

This blog is about my journey as an asthmatic, hypothyroid, formerly plus-sized endurance athlete. It's occasionally interrupted with things that have nothing to do with that or whining about my weight and horrible eating habits. "You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Introducing: Flipper girl

Yahoo! AvatarsI finally got off my duff and started the HerSports 70.3 training program tonight, for my September Red Man Half Iron. I actually only got to 1200m (instead of 1500) because I started chatting with another potential Athena in the pool. Perhaps we'll form a whole cadre of Athenas, out racing around, running, swimming, cycling...blowing every stereotype of large-sized women all the hell. The only problem was this one woman who just jumped into our lane (where there were already two of us splitting a lane, instead of another lane where there was only one person) and the swam right at me on my side. Am I crazy for thinking that a courteous, "hey, mind if I share your lane?" might have been in order? shouldn't you try to fit in with the people that are already swimming in that lane?
And, introducing: Flipper Girl. There have been few sitings of Angry Man lately, mostly since I haven't had any events...This lady gets in the pool, goggles, swim cap, and flippers, and then kicks like hell. You can even hear her underwater the whole run of the pool, and she splashes and kicks so hard that when you pass her, you have to be careful not to try to breath on the side where she's at. She leaves a serious wake. I've never seen her not do this. I don't mind it; I figure it helps get me ready for the "thrashfest" of lake swimming.
Left --> My Yahoo avatar. with I could make her a little more zaftig. :-)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sunday.

So, yesterday I informed the group that the day (27 degrees) had failed my "I can see my breath" test. Then I headed indoors for the treadmill. What a relief. I was finally back to where I was before I embarked upon the worlds most slothful month of January ever. I've decided finally to use the training plan in the January issue of HerSports for a half iron distance. I received my new triathlon training diary in the mail finally - I'm looking forward to filling in all the little squares and lines.
Husband suggested something called the "Atomic Man" Triathlon up on Las Cruces. 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run, hilly, long. Ugh. Don't think I"m ready for that, yet.

I have what I like to refer to as my "threshold of laziness". Currently, my threshold of laziness is a half marathon or 25 mile bike race (for single events) and a regular sprint triathlon. The Atomic Man triathlon violates my threshold of laziness.

The rest of yesterday was spent decorating the house. We started to do this after we built it 2 years ago, but then we just got all caught up in finishing graduate degrees and trying to get rid of the accumulated flab that graduate school had so kindly deposited upon our persons...I dragged out the sewing machine and the books that reminded me again how to thread the thing...and later how to wind the bobbin, replace the bobbin, replace the bobbin case...it's been a while since I sewed....I'm trying to make a slip cover. the goal is to make it as casually sloppy as possible, so I think I'll do spendidly. Husband painted another wall. We now have walls that are beige, sage, blue, and orange. All in the same room. Husband says he's going to call it, the "Middle Rio Grande White Boy" decor. I thought we could call it, "North Valley coffee house"

Friday, January 27, 2006

Shhhh.....

Shhhhh....Be vewy, vewy quiet....
Husband is sleeping.
I'm trying to decide how to get out of this weekend's run.
Am I lazy? No. the truth is...I'm a cold weenie.
I need to do a long run, because the Lost Dutchman half-mary is in three weeks, but I'm going to have to do this weekend's run on a treadmill.

I wonder if other triathletes are as sick of winter as I am.
I wonder if people who read my blog are sick of reading about how sick I am of winter.
I wonder.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What kind of coffee are you?




You Are a Frappacino



At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern



At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent



You drink coffee when: you're craving something sweet



Your caffeine addiction level: low

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Training Plan


I've been working on my training plan, and I think I'm going to use training plan #3 for Olympic Distance in the Triathlon Training book by Michael Finch. It requires more of me than I've been willing to give so far, like training six days a week and biking 3 times a week. of course, being the cold weenie that I am, I'm using the computerize stationary bike at the gym until the temps are in the 40's in the mornings. It has a very cool hill program that kicks ass. I'm all sweaty and gross afterwards, so that's a good sign.
Mondays: long swim. So here it is:
Tuesdays, a short run.
Wednesdays, swim and bike
Thursdays are a rest day
Fridays are swim and run day.
Saturday, long bike (or race)
Sundays, long run (or race).
It also requires running 3 times a week, up from my usual 1-1/2.
In other words, effort. Work. Blech.
I pride myself on moving slowly and with little effort, so this should be quite a change from my usual, lackadaisical effort. But I'm determined to enjoy myself at the Buffman and Squeaky, and working my butt off now is the only way to do it. Delayed gratification.
Who knew?
In other news, I've gained 6 pounds over winter so far. Ick. Guess I need to get moving...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Dissapointed. Bored. Kvetching.

Am I the only one who has this experience? I'm beginnning to feel like work is really getting in the way of my training. I'd like to be able to spend 2 hours a day 6 days a week at the gym, getting fast, fast, fast. As it is, however, I have to finish do the comps and orals for my 2nd master's degree (holy crud, I'm sick of school). And of course, teaching 8th-grade science.
I went over to pick up my new matt black-framed Rx SportSpecs sunglasses. When I got there, however, I found that they had ordered the wrong frame. Another week for them to get the right ones. My eyes hurt. aLOT. The sun's very bright in New Mexico, and of course, being winter, it's right in my eyes unless I turn north.
I'm bored, bored, bored. No events until presidents day. Just a root canal. Sigh.
On a positive note, my swim felt great today. I did 1000 meters in about 29 minutes. That includes a couple of times that I stood up at the end of the pool, breathed heavily, and coughed. I think that's just about the best I've ever done.
I've 'discovered' a magazine that I'm gonzo over: HerSports. I love this mag! Lots of fun girly stuff in there, but also equipment info, nutrition, and training plans, too. This month, they have a half iron distance triathlon training plan that just seems to fit with my schedule, although I need to work up to it. I've got 8 months to my first 1/2 iron distance. I've got a little over 3 months to the Ransom Canyon Triathlon - it's an evil but fun little triathlon with an out-and-back bike course. What evil about it is that when you jump on the bike you nearly immediately climb right up out of a deep canyon. Then, 2 weeks later and practically right down the road, my first olympic distance triathlon: The Buffman and Squeaky.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Too COLD. Back to the treadmill.

I tried doing a long run this morning. Too cold. My asthma kicked in. I could only do about 6 miles.
Not a good-feeling day.
I need a hug.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How much is too much?

News story: Exercise boosts immunity. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-01-17-exercise-immunity_x.htm
I KNEW I wasn't imagining things. I always get sick starting in October (I work in a school, also known as a germ factory, after all) but I haven't been sick at all except for a cold during December. Jeff Galloway hypothesizes that running brings up your core temperature, which acts as a "fever" that kill off pathogens. Whatever the reason, I've been much healthier this fall. I like this story because I like to take it easy, and they recommend against endurance running. Hmmm. I have to think about that, though, because I plan to do a couple half mary's this year and a half iron distance.
I accompanied Husband to the Ghosttown 38.5, in which they are dropped off at the start line in the middle of nowhere (Nutt, New Mexico) and then run to Kingston by way of Hillsboro. We stayed at a B&B at the finish line, which I highly recommend, but don't take the last room they have available, because the upstairs ones are much nicer. A more accomodating couple I have never met. I met Husband at the 10, 20, and 30 mile markers, and then went back to the B&B to get bags of ice ready. I left Kingston and ran down about 4 miles to meet him and come back with him. The wind was horrid - funneling right down through the mountains pushing against us, even when walking. Afterwards, I nursed Husband with veggie brats, potato salad, and carrots. I don't know if I'll do this ultramarathon next year. I'm not all that inclined, and I don't see the point, but if he wants to do it I'll come along again.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Food, food, food.

I swam 1000 meters again today. I'm very encouraged at how easier it's getting. I'm trying to work my way up to 1600 meters (1 mile) per session; it may take a while. But it's getting easier. I did the hill workout on the stationary bike. I've heard that doing hill work is also called "stealth speedwork". I hope that's right. I busted my butt. I'd have done it outside but once the weather gets sub 30 degrees I get whiny. In any case, these electronic "hill" workouts are the only time indoors at the gym that I have ever had sweat dripping off me. It's not pretty.

I've made a new discovery at the local Sunflower market - it's called Tasty Eats, soy jerky. I've started rewarding myself after a workout with these little treats, and I get some nice recovery protein, as well. Now, I'll be perfectly frank - while in Tuscon after the Tuscon 1/2 marathon, I discovered Primal Strips vegan jerky, which is fabulous - chewy and almost juicy. If I could find these again I'd eat them. In fact, in getting a picture for this post I found them online at Vegan Essentials. Maybe I'll start ordering them. I also recently tried Ultima drink mix. I, um, don't recommend it. I'm going to stick with Cytomax. And, of course, my lovely Clif Builder bars, with 20 mg protein.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Nearsighted me.


Mood: neutral.
Music: Imogen Heap.
Weather: blustery.
Well, I was hoping to be able to get some Oaklies, but was told that my horridly nearsighted eyes don't have a prescription that works with the wrap. I'll get something sporty, and anything's better than my old budget sunglasses that are held together with jeweler's wire, are cracked and have to be pushed up my nose every third step when I run. I chose was Liberty Optical's RecSpecs. They are built for cycling and other outdoor sports such as hiking, and have nice curved earpieces that ">fit under my helmet. Nice and light, with polarized lense in my Rx, I ordered them, and am breathlessly awaiting the minimum 2 week turnaround time that Rio eyecare says it will take. They're pretty nice over there, too. Next week, I'm going over the sporting good store and get the special swimmer's goggles that Speedo makes for nearsighted folks like me.
Hey, how come I can get farsighted reading glasses in any old WalGreens for $15 but my nearsighted specs are $$$$? If anyone knows the answer to that, let me know.
I'm proud to say that I've finally worked up to swimming 1000 meters per session now, and have started including speedwork. My 400 meter time is down now to 11 minutes. I tried some hill work this weekend - oh, my, is anything worse for myself esteem then trying to run up about a 20% hill a mile above sea level? By the time I reached the top I was swearing and I hated all the people who were also out jogging and seemed to be sprinting past me with their swift running selves.
Oh, hell. I refuse to give up. As God is my witless (Angelica, from rugrats) I WILL have a sub 10 minute mile before my first Olympic distance triathlon, the Buffman and Squeaky.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Training when sick. Cranky me.

I'm not sure how much training I'm supposed to be doing right now. I read something about "listening to your body" but I'm getting pretty impatient. I had about 90 free minutes today so I went 3 miles, but I wasn't able to run the whole way, because I felt breathless and my throat hurt. Then I swam 400 meters pretty fast, but afterwards I was tired and felt like I was bonking. So I'll take it easy another couple days.
I'm planning to do a half marathon in February, and then the Wind Triathlon in March. Hope I'm up to it. I was planning to do the Defined Du in Rio Rancho in April, but I conflicts with the New Mexico regional science fair. I have to accompany some students to that. Others on the list of planned races are: Fiesta (1/2 marathon), Tour de Acoma (25 miler) some triathlon down in Mexico (sprint), the J Bensen (reverse sprint), and the Buffman and Squeaky, which will be my first Olympic distance triathlon.
On a cranky note, I note that my favorite gym is called "Sports and Wellness", not "Family fun center". So why do I have to share a pool with screaming kids in the middle of winter? Yes, they are supposed to stay in their section, but they don't, and their parents don't do anything about it. They don't even pay attention. It would be so bad, but I work with other peoples' kids all week long, and I need some separation. Young kids don't belong in a gym where adults are trying to work out and train, they don't belong at Starbucks at 10 pm, and they don't belong at the latest loud scary PG13 movie. If you have kids, you make the decision to hire a sitter or be less self-indulgent for a few years. Deal with it. >:-(
Meanwhile, I was all cranky but then intruiged when I spotted a billboard for a new "Active Adult Community" outside Albuquerque with a fitness center, pool, and clubhouse. My youngest child will be graduating in 3 years, and then we will be child-free. I checked into it, however, and apparently I'm not really an "active adult" until I'm 55. Crud. I'm only 40 now, so I guess I'm a nonactive adult. Or an active nonadult.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

>SNIFFFFF<

Can't sleep.
Sore throat.
3rd day in a row.
Ack!
>cough< >cough<

Monday, January 02, 2006

Overweight, happy, and healthy.

I visited the doctor right before vacation, to find out why I haven't lost any more weight. At 160 pounds, I feel pretty good, and I'm pretty happy about my size 12 status, but according to size charts (see the MetLife chart, right) I'm technically overweight (I'm 5'6").
"I'm huge!" I complained, "I lumber along on treadmills next to tiny birdlike women who fly along with their tiny selves. I work my ass off, running 15 to 20 miles a week, and haven't lost a pound."
Doc smiled, turned to his computer and said, "let me show you something. If I graph your weight over the past five years and draw a line right through the middle, guess what I get? I get the weight where you are right now. This is where your body likes to be. You're a big girl. And, you're not that overweight."

All of this inspired me to make a web search, ala Google, for positive images of larger women. By larger, I mean size 12 and up, since size 12 is the realm of plus-sized models. I kid you not.
In any case I started looking at pinups. I notice that during the 40's, most pinups were reasonably proportioned. However, sometime after that pinup artists began extending the length of their legs and thinning their waists, until they looked like Barbie.

So here are some fast facts:
Some of the more postive Synonyms I've found: big, broad, heavy, heavyset, hefty, husky, inflated, large, luscious, meaty(?), overweight, plump, plumpish, pudgy, rubenesque, rotund, solid, zaftig. Let's not forget Athena (mainly used in Triathlons)

Searching with the term "overweight healthy women" gets you information on medical studies.
Searching with the term "overweight women" gets you porn sites. Very cool portrayals over large-sized women can be found here, although I'd like to see more of the renderings showing women doing active things.

I want to quickly mention that I'm in favor of health. However, I've resolved to accept myself during 2006. No more looking in the mirror and wishing I was willowy. I will revel in my sturdy, solid frame. Be proud of my strength. Resist the impulse to bitchslap the tiny women running next to me on the treadmills. I will endevor to remind myself that Marylin Monroe was a 12 at her tiniest, and a 16 at the height of her career. Of course, I'm no Marylin Monroe. I plan to live to see my grandchildren, and they'll be either cheering me on at my latest event or running alongside me.