Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sometimes you need a break... and some confidence

Hi, how ya been?

No, no, not you, silly. My bike, my sneakers and my swimsuit.

Yes, I've taken a few weeks days off.

In all seriousness it's been a full week. This holiday season has completely destroyed my motivation. I'm exhausted and the pile of toys that's taken over my living room keeps calling my name, so my workouts have taken a back seat for now. I'm planning my big comeback soon, just not today.

During my unscheduled hiatus, I have noticed a few things worth mentioning. First and foremost is my times are getting faster. It's only a few seconds, but I really believe the structured workouts Joanna is giving me are doing their job. I was skeptical at first, but you can see the times yourself.

The other thing is that aside from improving my times, what I really need to work on is my self confidence. In my phone, I have a short list of motivational quotes.

Among those quotes is this, suspiciously alone, but for some reason I've kept it.

Confidence, I lack it. Clearly. I have no reason to not feel confident in my abilities, but something holds me back, each and every time.

Every run, if I feel like I'm going out too hard, I pull back. Don't want to lose my breath. If I start out too hard on the bike, I pull back, don't want to bonk half way home. If I'm swimming, I take things slow and easy, prefer not to drink the pool water and clearly drowning is a fear.

So, I wonder, what is it that holds me back. I've set out on bike rides that I have to repeat to myself over and over again, "I AM a triathlete. I CAN do this." Like I need to convince myself each and every ride that I am capable of achieving my goals ... on purpose. Not by a freak accident. 

Now, to be clear, I am not totally down on myself. It's not like I'm walking around feeling like I can't do anything. It's mostly just finding that certain something that pulls you through when you're body is screaming "NO" (or I DON'T WANNA GET OUTTA BED).

So, in addition to getting my rear to Eagleman, I am working on my confidence. My question to you, what do you do to boost your confidence? Love hearing from you, so don't be shy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Asthma and a new bike

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. Sure, the weather is gorgeous, but it also screws with my lungs.

Wednesday night I started to not feel well. I thought, well, here we go again, I'm totally getting sick. In fact, I was pretty sure I getting bronchitis. Thursday morning I couldn't breath very well and I has a cough. Yup, it's bronchitis, I thought. I even tweeted it.

Turns out I was wrong - again.

For some reason, every time I have an asthma attack I try to ignore the fact that I have asthma and let it go until I end up at the doctor wandering why in the world I can't speak a full sentence without coughing or walk up the stairs without panting. I am truly in denial about this disease.

Anyway, here I sit, sucking on a nebulizer two to three times a day trying to keep my lungs open. Workouts will commence as soon as I can breath again.

All of this is going on when my husband bought this for me:

It's a 2010 Ridely Asteria. OK, I didn't get the whole bike, but I got the frame set. If you bought the whole bike, it comes with decent parts, but we're going to fit it with lighter wheels and better parts and I'm sooooo excited to get this bike together.

The fact remains that I cannot ride anything until I can breath properly.

So the wait is on...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Learning to be flexible

Wow, what a week this has been. Seriously, Friday I hurt my hip flexor, road Saturday, skipped Sunday workout so I could finish Christmas shopping for my kids and Monday hurt my back carrying a laundry basket, of all things, up the stairs. Today my son has surgery scheduled to get a second set of tubes put in his ears. I also have a swim and bike workout on the schedule that I totally plan on doing.
The truth is, however, is that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed trying to fit everything in each and every day. It probably would be easier if, say, I didn't have a full time job or kids, but I wouldn't trade either of them for extra time to train - of course.
But what would also make my life easier to remaining injury free.
My hip flexor is the direct result of me not stretching after each and every (or any) workout. Talking to Joanna about this pain, she stressed the importance of stretching and yoga through a long and detailed Twitter exchange.
Side note: I can't imagine how coaches managed contact with such high maintainance clients like myself before twitter, Facebook and even email.
Anyway, through such contact, Joanna was able to adjust my training schedule for this week to take into account my inability to run and to add more stretching. Also, when I'm able to run again without pain (hopefully very soon), I'll be taking it a little slower to make sure I don't reinjure myself right away.
The point being is that communication with your coach is key to a successful relationship with your coach. It's just as important to have a coach who is not only willing to listen, but also willing to adjust their training plan to fit the client's needs - especially, in my case, during the base-building phase of training.
In the meantime, I gotta get my kid to the surgery center. Life happens, being flexible - both literal and physical - will make me stronger.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tomorrow is another day

This week I slept through my alarm and missed a workout, which prompted me to ask you how you deal with the guilt of missing a workout. To be completely honest, I wasn't feeling as much guilty about not working out, but more about not doing what my coach asked me to do.

I guess deep down I'm still that little girl who is trying to please my parents, so to speak.

What I learned from those who did respond was that a missed workout isn't important, what's more important is that you listen to your body and if you need to sleep, sleep. There will be another day and another workout.

Since many did not comment on this site, but instead commented on my dailymile page, here is what they said:
: I don't beat myself up, tomorrow's another day. :))

Pick up again the next day. Your body probably needed the rest and that was its way of telling you.

: Ah, rest :)

: Try not to dwell on it... Easier said then done :)

I don't train anything in the morning...

life moves on....sometimes you do have to sleep. and you cannot make up for a missed workout....i think the universe sometimes tells you in weird ways that is ok to sleep in. and heck, this weather? sleep all day if you can!

This, the sole comment on this site, was actually extremely informative, so I thought it bears repeating:
Patrick said...
*If you're going to miss a session, now is the time. The closer you get to race day, the more important each one becomes.
*Get used to it, it happens and you'll need to accept it. Sometimes it may even be a good thing. Listen to your body.
*Listen to this podcast from endurance nation:

The point being is that it happens. Workouts are missed, hot water heaters explode, alarms don't go off and kids get sick. After my last race, I decided that if I was going to do another half iron, I was going to enjoy the process, not panic or freak out about it. I hired a coach to help keep me on track, to help me develop in ways I cannot do on my own. I hired someone I could trust and who understands that I have a full-time job, kids and a husband. If you can't have fun throughout the journey, how are you going to celebrate when you reach your goal?

Triathlon is about swimming, biking and running,yes, but for me it's about so much more. It's about pushing myself. It's about showing my children the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. It's about proving to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to do, even if it seems impossible. Missing a workout is not the end of the world. It does not prove that I'm weak or that I don't have the commitment needed to improve my times. What it means is that I need to go to bed a earlier - that's pretty much it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waking up is hard to do

Some days you wake up ready to take on the world. Other days you wake up feeling like you'd rather pull the blankets over your head and go back to sleep. I've been struggling with the latter all week.
When my alarm rang this morning, I got up, turned it off and went back to bed. I had a workout scheduled, I was supposed to take my heart rate run test for Joanna at the track. But it was raining. And I stayed up too late the night before. I was tired.
Excuses. That's it.
In fact, I know that if I had gotten my butt out of bed, dressed and went to the track to run, even though it was raining, I would've felt better for it. I'd probably not be dragging all day like I have been because the workout would've increased my endorphins and given me a much-needed boost of energy.
Which would be welcomed right about now.

The day is not over, I have a long swim to do tonight after I help put the kids to bed, but I still have that nagging feeling about that missed workout and when I will be able to fit it in on another day.
This being the first time I'm training with any kind of real structure, I'm curious, how do you deal with a missed workout or a lack of motivation because of other obligations like family, work or just sleep?

Monday, December 5, 2011

At the track: Let the training begin

Before last year, I never ran. I always thought I couldn't run. I learned differently while training for my first triathlon in 2010. I actually can run, albeit, slowly. No matter how hard I try, I'm stuck at a snails pace. On really good days, I can hold a 9:30 minute mile for a mile or two. Maybe. In short, running is not my strong point. Joanna plans to change that. 
I recently met Joanna at the Radnor High School track for our first workout together. It was cold and windy. Very windy. Each loop around the track I ran ended with a gust of wind blowing directly at me, which meant I had a nice tailwind on the other side of the track, but you can't see that.
I haven't run on a track since I was in high school when I needed to run a mile for gym class ... almost 18 years ago, so to say I was a little nervous is an understatement. On top of it, the workout is on film, so I felt a bit of pressure. But also felt excited to start because I really want to be a faster and more efficient runner. According to Joanna, these track workouts are going to help make me a stronger and faster runner, both needed to improve my race time.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with a track, it is 400 meters. So when Joanna says, "Run an 800," she's telling me to run around the track twice.
Here we go ...


Our next video will be a bike workout, so please stay tuned. Also, don't forget, if you have any questions for me or the coach, comment and we will try to answer them in a video or a blog post sometime soon. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hey, Coach!

Let's meet my coach. I mentioned her in my last post, but here is what you need to know about Joanna Chororowska in order to properly meet her.

Coach Joanna Chodorowska

Joanna Chodorowska is founder and principal nutritionist and triathlon coach at Nutrition inMotion and has been a competitive triathlete for more than 17 years, placing regularly in her age group at races. 
Joanna enjoys training and racing, and now helping others achieve their goals and aspirations in the sport of triathlon. Since no one is the same, she creates personalized nutrition and training plans for each of her clients. Everyone has a different strength and weakness in triathlon, so she develops plans to minimize the weakness and create a new overall strength.
Sports nutrition is key to the success of any athlete. She believes if your nutrition does not complement your training, your results can suffer from symptoms like poor recovery, aching muscles, low energy levels and general malaise. Joanna's nutrition plans help the client use real foods for better recovery and overall performance. She helps clients burn fat, not sugars, while training so they reach their optimal racing weight and body composition.   
To be at your best, you need a solid training plan along with your nutrition plan. Joanna provides these for her clients in a way that they see results without feeling overwhelmed. She provides healthy nutrition and training for everyday living.  
For more information about Joanna Chodorowska and Nutrition in Motion services, please visit

As you can see, I'm in for the time of my life. I cannot wait to start training with Joanna and I'm even more excited to share our journey with you.