Week 10: The Lingering Flu

Well, my whole family got the flu and it was awful.  Everybody was sick and just needed rest.  So, we did, and now we're back on the mend.

I woke up feeling perfectly normal on Tuesday.  With the rain, I cancelled Stroller Fitness and headed to the gym where I had a great workout on the bike.  It was a little tough to start because my body was still a little fatigued from all that non-movement, but I took Eric Harr's advice and made assessments every 5 minutes.  I said, "I'm going to continue for another 5 minutes to see how I feel then."  By about the 3rd time I did that, I felt much better.  In fact, I felt strong enough to do a good upper body workout, as well.  I felt normal again.

I had decent workouts throughout the week, in part because I took advantage of going to the gym with the rain.  However, I felt fatigued earlier in the evening than normal and fought stomach cramps most of the week.

I headed to my chiropractor on Friday and while getting my adjustment, I confessed that I was having a difficult time getting rid of the flu.  He recommended drinking a LOT of water.  I started drinking and realized that I was slightly dehydrated.  Fighting sickness uses a lot of resources, and water aids in transporting nutrients to different areas of your body.  Dehydration impedes your body's ability to effectively heal.

After my adjustment, I was pretty amped for my long Saturday workout, but instead, I still felt really lethargic when I woke up.  I motivated, ate a really good breakfast, and made it about 1/3 of the way through my swim before I was kaputt.  I had a small snack and a lot of water in the locker room and tried out the treadmill.  I walked briskly for about 20 minutes and felt good, not great.  The flu just seemed to be lingering.

I drank no other beverages except water on Sunday.  The second my water bottle was empty, I refilled it.  No surprise, I woke up on Monday morning feeling great, and as of this writing, I'm still feeling great.  I think it's gone.
What Sapped My Motivation:
  • Rainy and cold and no time to play outside
  • Residual tummy and fatigue issues from my lingering flu
What Kept Me Going:
  • Dana at my gym.  I saw her getting on the treadmill with wet hair and post-goggle eyes.  Generally, triathletes are the only ones nutty enough to finish a swim and only be halfway done with the workout.  I asked if she did triathlons.  She did.  We had an amazing conversation and she's doing Wildflower (1/2 Ironman) too!  She does one Ironman a year!  It was great to talk to somebody else working for similar goals and not be all gushy about it.  It felt good.
  • Dr. Ito's quiet confidence that water and rest were the answer.  I love when following doctor's orders works.
  • I worked through fatigue and sapped motivation to keep blood flowing and muscles moving.  I fought the flu with a lot of water and a heavy dose of positive thinking.  Each time I come across a potential setback, I know that my brain makes or breaks my success.
Well, it's 9 weeks away!


The Perils of Parenting

This week started out great!  I felt strong and motivated, and was prepared for a busy schedule.  I'd even resolved to going easy on training mid-week so that I could have an awesome workout on Saturday.

Well, the schedule started to fall apart on Tuesday afternoon when Marcus woke up sick.  Later that night, Alexandria woke up feeling nauseous.  She woke up every hour between 11:45 pm and 3:45 am, then again at 5:45 when she decided she wanted to get up (she was tired of being sick at night).  I took it easy and kind of went into survival mode.  I did the bare minimum to keep her on the mend and me from getting sick.

I headed out to Stroller Fitness on Thursday morning and had an amazing workout.  Two laps of power walking around the track plus plyometrics left my body feeling strong!  However, by one o'clock, I was running a fever and conked out for almost two hours.  My fever broke around 2 am, and I felt great on Friday morning.  I met a nice group of ladies on the Promenade for SF, and really enjoyed myself.  I planned a big, fun day for Saturday.

Until... I woke up today completely wasted.  My body is beat.  Clearly, I went through the ringer this week, and my body is telling me what to do.  REST!

So, today I skipped my workout and like Eric Harr recommends, I did it with gusto and without guilt.  I spent the morning clipping pictures from magazines, helping Alexandria decorate her new jewelry box from Grandma, and relaxing.

I don't have any major inspiring workouts.  Nor did I have any great accomplishments that will make me a stronger triathlete.  This week served to remind me of my first task, which is that of a mother.  My kids take precedence over all.  I do not apologize.  The world stops for them.

What Sapped My Motivation:
  • Not practicing any of the skills I'll need in competition
  • Sick kids
  • Sick me
  • Busy week
What Kept Me Going:
  • "One week makes not a season"
  • I ate well, slept well (when I slept), and stretched
  • I had a great week at work


Shameless Plug

No, I'm not peddling products.  I'm offering you the chance to do something amazing this second.  My friend Anastasia has walked over 420 miles in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day walks to support her mom.  She's incredible and motivated.  She's heading out to Atlanta to walk miles 421-480, and she needs some love.  Please consider donating!  If you or anyone you know has ever suffered from this terrible disease, please join in the fight.  Anything and everything helps.

Did I mention she's awesome?  Because if I didn't, I'll say it right now. 

Thank you!

Week 12: Getting To Know You (Again)

Monday:  I started out the week on my bike.  Not my road bike, but my transportation bike.  I haven't been on my bike for a long time, and it felt really good to ride again.  I forgot the pleasure of air pulsing in my ears and the road rushing beneath me.  I smiled wide the first time I rang my bike bell ("On your left!" Rrrrrring!).

I hooked the trailer up and hauled the kids down to the beach for a 9 mile ride.  Our bike trail is awesome because you're either going uphill with the wind or downhill against the wind.  While the ride proved a little challenging for me, the kids had a blast!  I suspect most of my bike training will come by pulling the kids behind me (collective weight: 80 lbs.).  When I finally hit my road bike, with any luck, I'll fly!

Friday:  Midweek was pretty mellow, so I lit the fire today.  I did a 45 minute tempo ride on the stationary bike at the gym and followed it with a challenging abs workout.  I even did a set of  explosive push-ups where I clapped when I came up!  I felt great throughout the whole workout.  I'm going to have a great dinner tonight to prep for my long workout tomorrow. 

Saturday:  Wrestled with stomach cramps last night.  Not so fun.  Woke up early today and felt good, but the tummy pains came and went.  I was going to work out in the morning, but by the time we got ready to leave, I realized I would only have about 10 minutes in the pool before the AquaRobics ladies took over.  Not worth it.  I opted for the afternoon (which is a gamble because I might talk myself into being tired).  I followed through on my committment and had an amazing swim!  I practiced my open water swimming stroke after an encouraging chat with Lexi.  I felt really strong.  I swam about 3/4 mile.  Then, I went out and ran for an hour.  Now, the cramps were en force, but I was messaged by God to persevere.  First, this lady in the locker room had a dope tatoo that read "Discipline Through Pain," and then, when I was running and contemplating whether to turn around and go home or keep at it, I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said, "Pain is temporary.  Pride is forever."  Hell yeah!  I ticked it up a notch, found my rhythm, and had a great run!

Each time I work out now, I imagine I'm racing.  If I'm swimming, I imagine I'm in the lake, swimming as strong as I feel.  If I'm on the bike, I imagine climbing one of the 5 hills of the ride.  If I'm running, I imagine that every step takes me closer to the finish line.  While training, I imagine myself undaunted, indeed strengthened, by the psychological challenges presented on the course.

One of the most important challenges of my training is that I want to include the kids, especially Alexandria. I want them on this adventure as much as possible.  I think it's important for kids to watch their parents achieve goals.  I especially want my girl to see her mom do this.  I want my kids to not just believe, but know, everything is possible with hard work.

What Sapped My Motivation:
  • Tummy ache on Friday night from aforementioned huge dinner.  Totally worth it, but still, I didn't feel so great when running on Saturday.
  • No chance to have good workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
  • Spending a lot of energy cleaning the house on Saturday before re-motivating to leave for the gym.  I could have easily ditched.
What Kept Me Going:
  • Lady in the locker room with the bad-A tatoo that read "Discipline Through Pain."  Seriously.
  • While trying to stay motivated through my crampy tummy on Saturday's run, the guy wearing a shirt that said, "Pain is temporary.  Pride is forever."  With that, I decided I'd continue.
  • When discussing the challenges of training within the confines of our schedules, Dave asked, "What do you need from me?"  Amazing support.  He's so proud!
  • My awesome friend Lexi giving me encouragement and great advice for open-water swimming.
  • People I've never met in person cheering me on!
  • Talking with Alexandria about camping on race weekend.
  • The excitement of doing this.
So concludes Week 12.  Eleven weeks left.


New Beginnings

So, some of you followed me through the tumult of last year. 

I'll compare last year to a fire that burned away old, dead growth.  This year, new growth is coming in.  I've started training for a triathlon again (last time I trained, I, well, nine months later there was a baby).

I'm really excited and feel really confident.  This is the healthiest I've ever been.  The past few years have toughened me up bit.  This thing is going to be a piece of cake.  Sort of.

Wildflower Olympic Distance triathlon is on May 1, 2011.  It's a 1.5k (.93 mi) swim, 40k (24.8 mi.) bike, and 10k (6.2 mi.) run.  Training for an event like this, especially when I haven't raced in a LONG time, will be both mentally and physically challenging.  I've got two kids now.  I'm trying to build a business based on fitness and health.  I write (have you checked out http://www.fitnesswithnatalie.blogspot.com/ yet?).  My time is more precious and there's less of it.

But I'm going to try.  And I'm not trying to simply finish.  I want to compete.

So, here's where I'm going to blab about how it's going.  Follow if you're interested.  Nice, motivational comments are ALWAYS welcome!