Thursday, May 30, 2013

Aka, The blog post where I learned how to feed my Mojo

I have an update from the land of the "Athlete who went to see the dietitian". 

(that's me, if you're wondering)

It’s been over a week since I saw her. So far I’ve talked to 3 other women who’ve been. All 4 of us have been given different plans. This makes me feel good about my decision to go.

Holy guacamole <~ (an allowed food, in case you wondered).

Apparently my body was so protein starved that I was digesting my own muscle tissue for basic metabolic functioning.

(that's catabolism in case you're curious)

A few weeks ago I realized that I actually have a real milk allergy now, not an intolerance anymore. I replaced my cheese & yogurt protein sources with SOY. Oh, wait, remember that Soy can lead to a sudden increase in estrogen?  Estrogen makes muscle building more difficult. Which combined with the above note about catabolism... well... no wonder I was gaining weight like mad crazy.

And my Food Diary wasn't as embarrassing as I feared. In fact, she said, "You know, I don't know why you're upset. It's not that bad. I see some things that would make your hair curl."


Curly hair aside, she was pretty shocked and appalled that my ankles were swollen and that I wasn't worried about it.

Oh, yeah. Well, it was a hard workout on Sunday.
...uh, it's Wednesday.
Oh, right. Well. I rode my bike this morning.
...Right. You're dehydrated and your cells are leaky.

(that's caused by a lack of albumin... it's a fancy word for protein, incase...)

So she said that I'm a hot mess. Our conversation was epic... My personal favorite was when she asked... "But what do you EAT? There's no FOOD on this FOOD diary. There's only carbohydrates. Even though they're fruits and vegetables, you have no substantial amount of food".

That awkward moment when you show up at the Dietitian 15 lbs over weight only to discover that you're grossly malnourished. 

(I'm also lacking in Potassium. shocker.)

She forced this crazy new lifestyle on me. It includes.... wait for it... Food. I will tell you, a diet loaded in lean protein is an amazing diet for a female wanna-be athlete.

Holy Muscle Recovery Batman. 

On Tuesday morning I swam with T. She kicked my lush booty in the pool. Severely. I could not swim a fraction of the distance she was swimming. Then in the evening I rode a 33 mile loop with some friends. Because I had gone a long time (for me) in the pool, I wasn’t sure I was expecting much out of my ride. My ride ROCKED (mojo.. I could hear the whisper of it on the roads...) It was hard, but doable, and I finished spent but knowing that 33 miles is something I can do at a hard effort, so that must mean 50 miles is doable at an easier effort.

Amino acids & muscle recovery go hand in hand... like cheese and chocolate, or chocolate & wine, or beer & cupcakes, or mojo & triathletes...

In the mean time, on the normal “mom” front: I woke up this morning at 5 am and as I stretched out in a giant yawn I suddenly realized that, “Hey, I didn’t take a nap yesterday... I didn’t even want a nap yesterday.”

(I wonder if that's related to the food. It's the only thing I've changed this week).

And, I’ve lost 5 pounds in a week.

I’m not stupid. I know it’s not fat loss, it’s water loss. Water loss I would guess that is being caused by two things:
1 – the inflammation in my joints is SO much better. I almost feel human again.
2 – a reduction in carbohydrates leads to less molecules that LOVE to bond to H2O. (C5H10O4? Anyone? Bueller?)

Well, regardless of whether or not I remember the chemistry accurately, there’s less water hanging out in my tissues where it doesn’t belong.

I can’t eat like this forever. This is just a short term plan to correct an imbalance. She’ll give me my new ‘normal’ the next time I see her. Or the time after that. Depending on how far I've come in the 2 weeks since I last saw her.

Oh and the best news as far as I'm concerned?
Coffee & Beer got to stay on my "plan".

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

People are upset about the wrong things

In 2006 the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, made some inflammatory statements about who should be wearing the "exclusive" clothes his company sells. I find this interesting in part because by "exclusive" he meant, "sold in every single mall around the globe".

For whatever reason, these statements have recently hit the news again.

People are upset about this.

Then, Business Insider reported that Abercrombie refuses to make large-sized clothing.

People are really upset about this.

My take on it is that it's Abercrombie's prerogative... If you design the clothes, market, label and sell the clothes, you get to pick the sizes. And, after all, as one blogger pointed out, "if Abercrombie chooses not to make large sizes, this means that 60% of Americans are excluded from shopping in their stores". Simple math:  Eventually they'll have to sell larger clothing or go out of business.

Upon reading that I thought, 60%? What? No way. That seems insane. A quick trip to the CDC website should clear this right up.

My stomach flipped as I read the stats. Sixty percent is just about right. 
That's when I realized:
People are upset about the wrong thing.

According to the CDC, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. The official 2010 number is 35.7%. This number encompasses "over the age of 20".

I can see how once an individual reaches adulthood obese, or reaches obesity by the numbers in adulthood that getting the weight off would be a real challenge. I mean, I couldn't shed the weight stuck to me, so I called in some big guns when I saw a Physician, an OB/GYN, and eventually a Dietitian, and I'm only trying to knock back a total of 14.7 pounds. It's 10% of my body weight though.

What would it be like to be trying to lose half my body weight? So I'll give some lee way on this whole statistic. Once obese, hard to repair.


Obesity should be preventible. Right?

Well, in theory, it is.

The statistic that made my stomach clench and a wave of nausea roll over me was also found on the CDC site.  "The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period". CDC

6 year olds? Seriously? I have one of those.
11... I have one of those also.

And, wait, adolescents? Isn't that the Abercrombie market?

In 2003 data was collected on high school students obesity rates. The data is scattered, because they were targeting 'at risk' populations.

By 2011 the data is less scattered. I would guess this is because by now the "at risk" population has been expanded to include more schools.

So, after looking here at this very simplified data I have to wonder, why are people upset that Abercrombie & Fitch is going to go out of business? Why aren't we panicked about the fate of our children? Or our children's peers? It's mind numbing to me.

People are upset about the wrong thing. 

Now, that's not to say people aren't upset about the growing size of Americans. I see things about it all the time.

"The government should DO something!" people shout in outraged articles and blog posts that pepper the Internet.

No people.
Sorry for sharing my opinion if it offends you, but NO!

It's NOT the government's responsibility. I would personally love if the government stepped out of food politics. ALL food politics. The government is already elbow deep in policy that is harmful to the American Food "system". And yes, I found something accessible to back that statement. (an article in a little known publication called The Wall Street Journal).

When people lay the responsibility at The Government's feet, they remove their own accountability. Furthermore, they lose their sense of empowerment to adopt lifestyle changes that will positively affect their health. They blame school lunches instead of their McLifestyle.

I know, I know.

Mind my own business. Raise my children. Feed them as I choose too. Hell, give them cake for breakfast, let them top their own salads. It's my choice. and let people be upset about Abercrombie's business forecast as much as they want. At this point, I think it's pretty obvious though...

People are upset about the wrong thing. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

PlanZ with a Z

"So, what are your plans for 2013?"


Oh, I had plans.

They were amazing.

Big plans. PlanZ with a Z. Cos a Z gives everything street cred...

Pretty sure the epic planz were the shiz... something about using my bada** mtb to make my legs uber strong so I could get out and destroy a Half Distance Triathlon... after I destroyed my Half Marathon PR in March and accomplished a solid sub 4 marathon in May... At least, I think that's what they were...

I'm not 100% sure I remember anymore, and even though I have them written down, I'm not going back to look at them.

I can tell you what my plans weren't.

I wasn't planning on missing the entire month of March because I had some kind of weird illness on the last Wednesday of February. And what's crazy is that even though I lost my fitness, there is no point in feeling badly about not working out. I don't have guilt. I was sick enough to be hospitalized and have nursing students move into my apartment to take care of me...

Part of viewing health from a holistic stand point is the idea that health encompasses physical, mental and social well being. So, health has to involve resilience.

In my case, part of being resilient is making a new plan that makes the "illness" & "injury" of the past year just another part of a learning experience.

And I did learn some things from being sick.. mostly I learned is that unexpected things happen and that I'm lucky... and I learned I need to work with what I have.

So, what are my plans for 2013?  "To accomplish personal success, as defined in the moment, by me".

My "List" of 2013 FUN includes a bunch of events throughout the year, including a 100 mile bike ride in August.

However, I should really point out that the priorities are more like..

Keep it all in perspective
ride my new bike
savor the run
be happy

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A New Kind of Story

The End.

Most stories don't start with The End. Most of them start with, "Once Upon a Time" and conclude with "The End". But that's not what I have, now is it?

My story starts with, "The End".  From there it heads into "Once upon a Time....".

So here you go.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princes who lived in a yacht on an island. The Yacht was actually an apartment, and the island was created by roads, but seriously, who wants to hear a story about an apartment dweller? Apartments aren't sexy, but by Yacht standards, this apartment SERIOUSLY ROCKS.

So, ONCE upon a Time there was a Beautiful YOUNG Princess who lived on a YACHT.

Also, about the age thing. I'm not actually young. But who wants to hear a story about a princess who is 37? People like to read about young, lush, sweet girls who don't suffer from allergies or hay fever.

Where was I again? Oh yeah...

SO, the Princess... Yacht... yada yada yada...

You know what? Forget this princess sh*t....

Once upon a time there was a (youngish)(yacht-dwelling) galactically badass mother (something) who woke up one morning (on her birthday) and realized "This is my life, and I only get ONE".

So there you go.

Another Year to look forward to... and I love my life. It's stressful and noisy, but I love it just the same. I love my yacht, my dog, my kids, my peeps & classmates and I even love my athletic endeavors, despite their various successes or failures by other people's standards. Other people's standards don't really matter that much in the big scheme of things, do they?

Happy 37th Birthday to Me.

Now enough nonsense... I need to go ride my bike.

~The Beginning~

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ground Force IT Power Sprint Tri 2013

"No worries, the first rule of Triathlon is to NOT DROWN. I've so got this."  ~ spoken with far more confidence than I felt about 8 minutes before I jumped into the Shady Grove YMCA pool.

me, IronBill, DeNiece
On a starless Sunday morning in May, I got up well before any sane person in the world, and went with varying levels of dread and excitement to meet my TriWife DeNiece so we could head to our first TRI of the season. Lot's of folks we know raced Ground Force IT Power Sprint, including Potter, King, and Catalyst J. Everyone had an amazing day in one way or another.

I'm the fool who seeded myself on my best 300m time of the season. I admit, a week before the race, I was pretty nervous about my swim seed position. I mean, if everything went PERFECTLY I would be fine and could make the 5:29 goal. <~ when does everything go perfectly on race day?

Still, an hour after sunrise I found myself standing in gooey mud waiting to swim with only 86 people swimming ahead of me. I chatted with the guy behind me and wondered whether he would catch me. Always my fear in the pool. So my strategy on this length TRI swim is to go all out for the first 100M, settle in for the 2nd 100M, and don't drown in the 3rd 100M.

I lined up in the doorway with T-15 seconds till start and listened to the hollow sound of churning water. The volunteers rinsed the mud off my feet, and "GO". I jumped into the dark chop, pushed off, and went for it.

At about 200M I caught and passed the swimmer ahead of me.

By 250M I wondered if life wouldn't just be easier if I sucked in a lungful of water and died rather than maintain the brutal pace.

The swimmer behind me never caught me (or the guy I passed).

I flopped my nearly dead body onto the cement deck, gasping for oxygen and staggered to my feet... oh... freaking yea. I'm running to transition now. At that point I had NO clue how fast the swim was... you lose time when you catch the swimmer ahead of you, because you have to pass them at the wall and there's a loss in "fluidity". And I never timed myself jumping in and swimming and then climbing out of the pool with dead limbs. But still, it didn't feel like the swim of my life. bah. WTFC? I was glad it was over.

05:53 Swim Split very slow compared to every pre-race time trial.

Transition felt fast. Didn't look at my watch - that woulda taken time. Shoes, helmet, bike, go. I decided to take a lesson from my son & race without socks.

Swim to Bike 02:09

Also, I was still muddled when I went to mount, but I got on and got moving. The bike was great. I freaking love my new bike. Did I mention that? 

"Keep pedaling, Beautiful!" I heard as Catalyst J passed me going about 9087 mph on his yellow bike.
Catalyst J - 1st in A.G! So proud of you friend!

I passed a few people, got passed by a few people, passed a few more. It wasn't the sufferfest from my last TRI ride. It was great. Did I mention...? 

I paralleled the run course, and there was Catalyst J again! He looked strong and fast!
"GO Catalyst J!"
"GO Beautiful!"

38:11 Bike Split holy freaking bike ride batman! It's a 4 minute bike PR on this course! 19.2mph!!!

Before I knew it, I was back in transition pulling on my shoes, visor and race belt so I could go for a run.

Bike to Run 01:25

As I ran out, I heard my name, looked up, and there was The Good Dr taking my photo. Right in front of him were my 3 awesome cheerleader kids. It was sweet.

Remember when running was my favorite sport?
It's so not my favorite sport any more.
That was wicked hard. My achilles started to whine about 1 mile into the run. Every step felt in slow motion. I watched the time click away on my watch. I knew it would be like this, because I haven't been running in weeks... but still...

Thankfully it was a 5k, so despite my pace, the finish came quickly.

27:43 Run Split so incase you wondered, that was 1:43 slower than I'd hoped to pull off.

And the MC felt like interviewing me for some reason as I was having my chip removed. It went like this:

~gasp~ "it was" ~gasp~ "a great day" ~gasp~ "out there" ~gasp~ "today".

The Good Dr & T were at the finish to greet me. And I got a few sweaty hugs before covering my injured achilles with ice. I watched DeNiece finish and walked up to her to wipe black... mascara? off her face...?

And she laughed and showed me her hands. "I threw my chain. This is bike grease!"

Anyway, with Catalyst J's EPIC results (first place AG finish!!!), hot showers inside the Y, bike grease, Bouncy Houses, Potter (AG place as well), and all kinds of food stuff flying around, I never really even looked at my time or rank or anything.

I couldn't be bothered. For some reason, I wasn't pleased with my race. I think it was because I was shooting for an A, and I got a B.

And then I remembered something right as I fell into bed for a mid morning nap:  Oh yeah. On March 17 I was standing at a post race "party" coughing so hard I pulled a muscle. I couldn't take a full breath. I was using an inhaler 4X a day and sleeping 18 out of every 24 hours ... It's only May 19. I maybe need to cut my sorry self a little slack on this, and be happy with my race today.

So I realized that a lot of variables went into the race... but the ones that matter are that I have an amazing support crew. I am lucky. I am able to get off the couch and race.

I finished:

8 of 27 A.G.
35 of 143 Female
140 of 325 Overall

That happens to be a PR for me.

Also, as a side note, Richmond Multisports put on a great race this year. It was the smoothest I ever recall and the Rev3 timing was great. Thanks RMS.