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Posts Tagged ‘Team in Training’

2b-wachusettI hate fuel belts!

You may be reading this thinking that a piece of equipment designed to help you stay hydrated is hardly something to be so passionately against, but let me explain.

My TNT coach told us that we needed to buy a fuel belt by the beginning of this month, because we’d be doing long distance training beginning this morning (8 miles). Fuel belts are designed to hold water bottles and nutrition bars so that when you’re on a long distance walk/run, you can replace the nutrients your body has lost.  We were supposed to find on that could hold nutrition bars and water supplements (to replace electrolytes, etc.).  Logically, I guess they make sense, but let me just say that I hate “fanny packs,” which is exactly what these fuel belts remind me of.  I don’t want to wear one!

But, being the “good student” I am, I went to Sports Basement (which is a sporting goods store that is known to have equipment at cheaper prices) yesterday in search of a fuel belt that would fit.  I tried on the XL, but it was really tight.  I asked the salesgirl if they had any in a larger size and she said they didn’t.  This one only went up to 36 inches, which seems fairly small, considering they were unisex sizes.  I guess the people who make these fuel belts think that all long distance athletes are fit and trim.  I mean, I know that I’m a plus-sized girl, but my waist is actually one of my smaller features, so if I can’t find one that fits, I wonder about some of the other people who carry most of their weight around their stomachs.  But I digress.

I bought the fuel belt thinking that it might fit over a t-shirt (I had a sweatshirt on when I tried it on).  I also bought some Nuun hydration tablets, a sports bra, 2 pairs of running socks, some Body Glide, and a long-sleeved fitness shirt that is made of moisture-wicking fabric.  I spent way more than I expected, but I wanted to make sure to have all of the necessary “equipment” so that I would be prepared for the long walk.

I waited until later last night to try on the fuel belt with a t-shirt, only to discover that it was really, really tight, even over my thinnest t-shirt.   Plus, it didn’t really have enough room to hold the Luna bar I was supposed to bring with me.  To say this was frustrating is putting it mildly.

So today I’m in search of a fuel belt that will really fit me, and one that will hold everything I need it to.  I’m going to return the other one to Sports Basement and hit up REI in the hope that I can find a larger one there.

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Update: 4.7.09

I went to REI and was completely overwhelmed as soon as I walked into the store – their aisles are stacked to the gills with so much stuff!  I felt way out of my league, but then found a really nice salesperson who led me right to the “hydration waistpacks.”

After trying on about 5 or 6 with no luck (all too tight), I was beginning to lose hope.  Was I really THAT fat?  I can’t believe how hard it is to find endurance event equipment in plus sizing.  Do they really think that plus-sized people don’t partake in these sorts of events?  I wish someone would make a line of products specially designed for plus-sized people; I see a huge market for these items.

Finally, after almost abandoning hope I found it – the perfect fuel belt!  Not only was it plenty big (I have lots of room to spare!), it will hold my iPhone and my nutrition bars, plus it came with a larger bottle (16 oz), rather than two smaller ones.  AND, it’s light blue, so it matches my running shoes, not that that matters, but it sure is a nice bonus, after all of this. Thank you, Ultimate Direction, for making a hydration belt that fits a larger sized person!

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I’m so sorry that I’ve neglected this blog lately.  As I mentioned last week, my schedule has suddenly gotten really busy, and I’ve been feeling like I barely have any time to do anything anymore. 

Of course, that’s being a bit overly dramatic, but I do feel like I have to figure out a way to get a handle on this new, crazier schedule. 

During the week, I don’t get home until around 6pm, which makes for a really long day.  I’ m so tired that I am not at all motivated to go workout most evenings.  I barely feel motivated enough to make dinner, and it’s been nice that I have quite a few recipes that I made ahead and put in the freezer. (One more thing for my growing to-do list is to update my “Bella Cooks” link with all of the new recipes I’ve been trying out). 

The weekends seem to go by in a flash, and because I’m not able to sleep in on either day (TNT trainings on Saturday begin at 7am, WW meetings start at 9am on Sunday), I feel pretty exhausted. 

I actually think that the key for me to feeling better and dealing more productively with this new schedule is to get enough sleep during the week.  As I’ve written many times before, I’m a night owl by nature, but I really need to try to get to bed by 9:30 or 10pm so that I can wake up early and work out.  I know that I’m not going to be in the mood to work out after I get home at 6pm, so if I’m going to keep up with my TNT trainings, it’s going to have to happen in the morning.  Plus, if I’m more well rested during the week, I know I’ll have more energy on the weekends, so I  don’t spend half the time in a zombie-like mode. 

I keep reminding myself that this extra class is only for a short while and the money will be really worth it in the summer when it’s time to get a new car.  Until then, I just have to adjust.

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Just a quick check-in for me today.  I don’t really have much to update you on, since I haven’t gone to WW for the past two weeks because of other events going on.  I know in theory I could go on a different day, but my schedule is so hectic that Sundays are almost the only day I can make it.  Plus, I guess I needed a bit of a break. 

In other news, today is the first day of an extra “summer school after school” class that I’m going to start to teach.  It’s aimed at seniors who need English to  graduate.  I’m actually looking forward to it because the curriculum I developed is all about real-world information, non-fiction articles, and rhetoric.  It should be fun to teach, and the kids should be really motivated (pass or don’t graduate!).  I designed it to be Tues, Wed, Thurs from 4pm-5:30pm, which means my schedule on these days is now even more impacted.  The good thing?  I’m getting $2900 (before taxes), which will help me with a down payment for my “new” car when my lease is up this August.

I’m still going strong on my TNT trainings and have even started on my OYO (on your own) walks (finally!!).  I’m mad at myself for forgetting my sneakers today, because I could’ve taken a good walk during the 2 hours between the end of school and the beginning of my new class.  Ah well, maybe on Thursday. 

Last night I made this delicious Mushroom Casserole that SweetiePie posted on her blog the other day.  I changed it slightly by adding crimini mushrooms instead of button, but other than that I stuck to her recipe. I would’ve added a bit more of a kick by adding some cayanne pepper, but that’s just me, I’ve been into spicy food lately.   I’d definitely recommend it, because it’s GOOD, and really easy.   It was  definitely perfect for  lunch or a light dinner.  It makes 6 hearty servings, so you’ll  have plenty of leftovers for lunch.  Yum!

I hope all of you are doing really well and have a marvelous week!

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The other night when I was at the TNT track training, I asked my mentor if I could use my iPod during the long trainings on Saturday.  I’m not sure why I even asked except for the fact that no one ever uses one.  She suprised me when she said “no.”  She said that the reason was because you can’t use iPods during the events because they’re a liability.

What?  I don’t understand that.  How is using a music player a liability?  I mean, it’s a closed course, so there aren’t cars zooming by.  Maybe because you can’t hear people saying “on your left?”  ???  If anyone knows why this is, I’d love to hear it.

The reason I bring this up is that I’ve noticed that I can go so much father and push myself a bit faster when I’m listening to music.  I love using my iPod when I’m working out, but it seems like it’s a necessity for me when I’m walking because fitness walking is so much more of a challenge for me.  I use songs as my reward a lot of the time.  For example, I’ll buy some new workout songs if I’ve worked out consistently for a certain number of days per week, etc.

Today I was reading through the most current issue of Women’s Health Magazine and one of the mini articles said that a study conducted at Brunel University found that listening to music while running increased not only speed but also endurance.  Intersting, but not surprising.  If you click this link, it will take you to a playlist that WH has made.  Some of the songs are good ones, others meh.  But they also have a link to other playlists that athletes and readers have uploaded.  Kinda cool.  I’m always on the lookout for some good workout tunes, and I did get a few good ideas.

One thing I have noticed is that when I’m doing my TNT trainings (both at the track on Wednesdays and Saturdays on the trails) I get a lot more emotional than I ever do when I’m using my iPod.  I’ve come close to full-on crying each and every time.  Mostly because I start getting discouraged about where I am in comparison to the rest of the team (at the end, with people passing me).  I have to do a lot of positive self talk and give myself a kick in the butt just to get past the point of tears.  I think it’s because my mind isn’t concentrating on the lyrics or the music, and just has time to think.  I’m operating “in the moment” and being fully conscious of my surroundings.  I guess I should use this as a positive thing – as a way for me to work out stress or frustrations, or whatever.  To tell myself how proud I am of all that I’m accomplishing in a relatively short amount of time.  Maybe there is a method to this madness about not being able to use iPods after all.  Hmmm….

One thing I’m going to do this Saturday on the 6 mile walk (yes, 6 MILES!! I’m very scared of that number, but I know I’ll do it) is to remind myself that while I may not be the fastest person on the team, I am one of the best in terms of fundraising.  In the three weeks that I’ve had my fundraising page active, I have already raised over half of the minimum required.  I was so concerned when I started all of this that I wouldn’t be able to raise the money, but now I think I’m going to be ok on that front, at least I hope so.  I have some truly generous people in my life, including many of you who read this blog, and I am so thankful. It still amazes me that people who have never met me in person are willing to contribute to my goal.  Thank you so much Cammy, Cathroo, Lisa K. and Rev. Sheila. Ok, I know some of you are reading that and wondering why the heck I have to be so competitive.  I don’t know why, but I wouldn’t change my competitive streak for anything in the world – it’s what pushes me to strive farther, push harder, and achieve my goals.  Anyway, I think focusing on the positive, in this case my rockstar ability to fundraise (if I do say so myself), will be really good for me.

So, what are your thoughts about using an iPod during endurance events?  Should they be allowed?  Why or why not?

I <3 my iPod!!!!

I <3 my iPod during workouts!!!!

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cartoon-sun Both literally and figuratively.

After nearly 5 days of relentless, pouring rain, finally today the sun is out.  And with it, my outlook is light and positive.  Today is going to be a great day – nothing specific planned, which means I can do anything that suits me.

One of the things I know I’m going to do is go through the box of old high school photos I picked up at my parents’ house last night.  As I said in that post, I’m looking forward to seeing all of my old high school pals, but I’m also really excited to look back at my thinner self for some inspiration.  I have always been overweight, but in high school overweight was 176 at my heaviest; 87 pounds less than I am right now.  I’m going to use any good pictures I find as motivation that I can be that weight (and even less) again.

Tonight I have my TNT track practice which means that I don’t have go to the gym today to walk on the treadmill!  It’s not that I hate the treadmill or anything, but I much prefer the elliptical machine, yoga, a workout DVD at home, or riding my bike outside in the fresh air.  I think I’m going to do the 30 Day Shred and the BL Yoga DVDs today, because Jillian hasn’t kicked my ass in a while, and after that 20-minute torture session I’m going to need to stretch out and do some yoga with Bob.

Speaking of Bob and Jillian, have you guys been enjoying this season’s Biggest Loser as much as I am?  I love how the contestants are all there for each other, regardless of which team they’re on.  Such a dramatic switch from last season’s Venomous Vicki.  There are a few players who annoy me a bit, but overall, I’m really inspired by all of them.  Tara is a machine!  That girl inspires me to no end.  I would like to think that I’d be able to push myself as much as she does, but I don’t know – she’s unreal.  I also really like the Brown Team – Mikey is so sweet with his father and his father is such a wise man.  I also love Kristen of the Purple Team – she’s a big girl and she never complains about the pain of what she’s doing.  She just digs in and does the workout.  Very inspiring to me. And let’s not forget about the blue team – I have a crush on both of these cousins!  Those guys work really hard but have hearts of gold.  Love them!  It’s so nice to watch the show and just root for the players, rather than seethe about how disgusting the contestants are treating each other. Positivity is so much better.

I can’t wait to see what today brings.  One thing’s for sure – I’ll be out and about in the sunshine as much as possible.

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This week I’m holding steady, status quo, mensa mensa.  I didn’t go to WW and haven’t been doing my solo walking training for TNT.  I’ve had some money pressures, which caused some mild depression, but overall, I’m doing really well.

There is a lot in my life that’s going great:

  • I’ve raised half of my minimum funds for Team in Training.  In 2 weeks!  I’m really proud of myself and so thankful to all of my contributors.  I’m hoping the second half of the fundraising goes as smoothly.  (See my sidebar, if you feel like giving a little $omething, because every little bit helps).
  • I have this entire week off, and I want to make the most of it.  I’ve got plans to see friends, hang out with family, and take some much needed “ME” time.  I want to make sure to get in some solo walking training, because I know that’s going to be a  big part of my success.  In fact, as you read this, I should be in the gym walking on the treadmill for at least 1 hour.  (I’m writing this on Monday night so it posts Tuesday morning).
  • I have some really fun social events planned, which I’ll write about on my Bella Blog (life blog).
  • I’ve been eating well, and although the tracking hasn’t been going as perfectly as it should be, today is the day I begin tracking in earnest.

All in all, I am feeling positive.  I’m looking forward to reading your blogs and getting some much needed inspiration and motivation.  I hope everyone has a fabulous week.

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The distance is nothing. It’s only the first step that’s important.” – Marquise Du Deffand

Tonight I had another TNT track training.  Forget the fact that it was drizzly outside, I wasn’t looking forward to tonight’s practice because they were going to time it.  They said they wanted to get our baseline beginning speeds.

Ugh.  It was reminiscent of jr. high gym class when you had to be in relay teams.

The whole time I was walking the mile, I kept saying to myself, “I hope I’m not last, I hope I’m not last.” I was pushing myself to go as fast as I could go without having too much pain.  They told us what our time was at each lap, and and each lap I lost a bit more speed.

As I rounded the 4th lap, the one-mile finish line, I was dead last.  By a lot.  My time was 18:59, which is actually a really good time for me.  But I was LAST.  Everyone cheered me on and told me how great I did.  “Lookin’ good.”  “Way to go, Bella!”  “You look beautiful out there – great arms!” They complimented my “sticktoitiveness” and asked how my feet were doing.  (No swelling tonight, thank goodness).  No matter what accolades they gave me, I just kept thinking to myself, “you lost, you came in last.”

Then I did the cool down lap and got very emotional halfway through.  As the tears formed, I thought of my uncle, in whose honor I’m doing the race.  I also thought of all the people that have contributed money in support of my goal of competing in the half marathon.  I reminded myself that no matter how far behind the others I was tonight, I was a lot faster than I’ve been before.  So many people are supporting me in this effort through their donations and through their good thoughts, and I don’t want to let them down.  I won’t let them down by coming in last at a practice, I’ll let them down if I let negative thoughts derail my progress.

I spoke to my parents on my way home in the car, and both of them were impressed with my time.  When I broke down crying, complaining about the fact that I was last (I know, I know, can I get any more like a jr. high kid?)  they both told me to stop it.  That I should be so proud of myself, because they were proud of me, and that there was no where to go but up.  Which is so true.

My time tonight was much better than my time on Saturday, and the more I practice, the more I will improve.  I really have to try not to let this get to me as much as it does.  I need to let my competitive side work for me, not against me.  The people who are practicing with me might be twice my age, but all of them are far more fit than I am, and many of them have trained for numerous other races.  I’m a beginner, and I can’t expect to be perfect out of the gate.

I walked two miles tonight; two Wednesdays ago I wasn’t walking at all.  That’s awesome progress, if you think about it!

As the quote says, the first step is what’s important.  Tonight was my first step, and even if I keep coming in last, as long as I complete the task in front of me, I have to be proud I took it.

first-step-logo-web-colors

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With all that I have going on right now (WW, blogging, TNT, working full time, connecting with family and friends, working out, etc.), it seems like life has been moving way too fast.  I like all of the activity and the daily excitement, but I also sort of feel like I need to stop and catch my breath.
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Joining Team in Training has been great, but it’s also a huge commitment of time.  Not just to the workouts on my own, but the twice-weekly team trainings as well as the time spent fundraising and getting together for team building activities.  I’m enjoying it quite a bit, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more of a homebody, and I guess I’m still adjusting to the more “out and about” nature of joining this cause.
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Don’t get me wrong – I think that all of this is what comes from leading a less sedentary, more active lifestyle.  I love that I have plans several times a week now; it was getting a bit boring and routine at home after work, ever since I’d completed grad school.
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But still, I’m really looking forward to next week when I get the entire week off for Presidents’ Week aka “ski week.”  I don’t have a ton of plans, and that is FINE by me.  I am going to be seeing a few friends, but I’m hoping to use the majority of the time to get organized around the house and just spend some “me” time hanging out at home watching a movie or reading a good book.
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Since my mantra for 2009 is “moderation,” I guess what I’m saying is that I need a little bit more of it.  I went from 0 to 60 without much of a chance to let my engine warm up.  (Sorry for the bad metaphor, no time to think of a better one).
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Do you find that now that you’re losing weight your life is more active?  How have you adjusted?  Do you ever get a bit overwhelmed with the whirlwind of activity?

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event_rollmv_03 Last night I signed up to take part in the Mermaid Run in Moutain View on March 22nd.  I’m really excited about this because I’ve been wanting to do the Mermaid Series ever since a co-worker told me about it a couple of years ago.

Last year I didn’t do it because I was scared that it would be too much for me.  Since I’ve signed up for the TNT half marathon, a little old 5K is no big deal.  In fact, I did more than a 5K on Saturday when we were practicing.

My sister said she’d to it with me, so this will be a fun “sister day” thing for us to do.  She’s going to sleep over the night before, since we have to be there pretty early on Sunday morning. LC and I haven’t done something like this before, so it will be a nice way to bond with each other as we push our bodies physically.  We’ll be walking, not running, but it should still offer us a nice workout.

The course itself seems mild – no hills at all, which is a good thing.  The views should be beautiful, since it’s near the water.

montainview_run1

I’ve heard that the Mermaid Series offers really cute, girly t-shirts, and I can’t wait to get mine.  I’ll definitely post a picture as soon as I do.

Signing up for the half marathon has really opened me up to a new world of possibilities.  As I said, a year ago I didn’t sign up for this run because I thought it would be too much for me.  Now I know that I can do it, because I have already done this distance and more in my practices for TNT.  That feels great!

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scale This week I lost 1.2 pounds, for a total loss of 2.8 pounds in 2009.

I’m happy with this week’s weight loss results.  My activity increased because of my  Team in Training group practices, and I was good on my points, even though I was very “munchie” because of TOM.

Two improvements  I want to make for this coming week:

  1. Track foods.  I was very bad about tracking my points last week.  As I said in a previous post, the TNT fundraising kind of took over the week, and it was almost like my mind could only handle so many things at once.  Now that I’m used to the fundraising process, I’ll have no problem tracking points into eTools this week.  I know most people hate tracking, but I like it.  I love seeing my food choices, and I love tracking my APs even more.
  2. Speaking of Activity Points, I did ok last week – I earned 16.  This week I want/need to make sure I get in my individual trainings.  I’ve been reluctant to go to the gym for the last several months, opting instead to ride my bike (weather permitting) or do an at-home DVD workout.  Those are good, but I really need to get my butt on the treadmill so that I can build up my endurance with walking.  I need to improve my pace and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is to practice, like it or not.

I’m hoping that next week I’ll see even bigger numbers on the scale when I incorporate these two improvements this week.  I’m ok with a 1-pound/week loss, but at my weight, I should be seeing larger numbers in the weight loss.  I’d love to get back to a 2 or 3 pound loss each week.

Today’s meeting talked about using “advanced tools” like SetPoints when dining out.  The concept of SetPoints is that if you’re unsure of the exact portion of a certain food, you can count more points and eat that food until you are satisfied.  The SetPoints are only to be used with Filling Foods like lean proteins, whole grains, etc.  I used SetPoints last week when I made a beef roast.  I don’t have a scale, and I kind of guesstimated the ounces until I remembered that I could use a SetPoints amount of 5, since the beef was extremely lean.  It worked really well, and I think I’ll use it again, especially when I go out.  It’s so hard to know the measurements of the meat they serve you in restaurants.  I can visualize what a cup of rice or pasta is supposed to look like, but for some reason, I can’t visualize the oz. in meats. 

On a side note, once I have a bit of extra money, I want to buy a food scale for my kitchen.  Do any of you have any brands that you like?

WW Meeting Quote:

Success won’t come to you; you have to go to it.

I’m feeling really positive about everything related to weight loss, and I’m looking forward to a successful week.

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