Friday, August 29, 2014

Triathlon wetsuit score

One of the members of my triathlon club had gotten too small for her wetsuit and was looking to get rid of it. I was able to buy it from her for $50. Amazon lists the 2XU Women's R:2 Race Wetsuit for $275 (affiliate link just so you can see what it looks like). My seller paid $250 but had worn it for two seasons.  It still looks almost new. She got too thin for it. I offered her $75 but she said she would give it to me for $50.

I had a triathlon wetsuit once. It was a different style, a bibjohn with a sleeveless top over it. I paid around $300 for it. It didn't seem to have a lot of special features.  I was between sizes so I bought it on the small side, thinking I would shrink. I found it very uncomfortable and almost impossible to get in and out of. I wore it once, and then had it in my closet as a source of shame and sadness over the waste of money and the weight gain until I sold it for $50.  

Somehow this new wetsuit feels like it settles that old score.  I'm near the center of the weight range for it, and I was able to put it on without BodyGlide or any other lubricant, so I'm hoping that history won't repeat itself with this one.  With BodyGlide (or PAM cooking spray, which is what I see a lot of fellow triathletes using) I'm hoping it will go on more easily and that I can get more comfortable in it, and the reviews I have seen suggest that it is more comfortable once it gets wet.   I'm not sure if I will get a chance to wear it until next year, since it can't go in the pool. 

I wrote yesterday that I had a goal of doing an Aquabike. One worry I had was that one of the races I was looking at was very early in the season, and I didn't have a wetsuit so I wasn't sure I could do enough open-water training before the race.  This solves that problem.

I have heard mixed reviews on whether it will help me be faster. That is the reason most of the people who have them say they got it, for the speed, but I am already a pretty good swimmer.  I will have to see if it helps once I get to swim in it.  I was definitely going to need one if I ever wanted to do a longer race or one in colder water.  I did the Chicago Triathlon in 65-degree water without a wetsuit and almost froze. 

The seller was glad to get rid of it, too. I know how that feels. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why I race: Motivation is a crazy thing

Somehow, I was misled by my teenage hormones to fall in love with a sports fan, and then later, marry him. I never liked watching or talking about sports so this was never part of my plan.

As a consequence, I get exposed to things that I wouldn't have otherwise seen, like this blog post from Joe Polanski about motivation, and how it is a strange and fickle thing. After a blood pressure scare where he tested in the "stroke range," he said:
I got the medicine, got the blood pressure machine, got my blood pressure under control fairly quickly. And you can probably guess what I did next.
Right. Nothing.
About a month ago, I put on T-shirt that used to fit me. It didn’t fit anymore. It wasn’t one of my favorite T-shirts. It wasn’t even a particularly nice T-shirt. But when I put that T-shirt on, and it didn’t fit, something just snapped in my brain. Something in there just screamed out, “ENOUGH!” Human motivation is as mysterious as love or the weather in Omaha.
He wrote about how he needed a big goal to keep him in the exercise and fitness game, and how it had to be an AND: you can maintain your weight if you work out, and you can maintain your weight if you eat well, but to LOSE weight at our age you have to do both." I can definitely relate.  

I like working out.  But I hate the whole diet business, and I also have a lazy streak where I will want to just do enough to maintain my fitness but not really push myself to do more.  That's why I started racing -- to keep myself working hard, getting up early in the morning, and otherwise fighting the Blerch. Most people train so they can race -- I race so that I will train.

I'm running into a little problem, though. I've been able to one or two sprint tris every summer without being completely on point with my food and my training. It's feeling like Groundhog Day, where I keep doing the same race at about the same speed every year.  Every season I start out with an injury, manage to beat it back into submission enough to do a race or two, but never make any progress forward.

An Olympic distance (double the swim, double the bike, double the run) seems too out of reach. I had thought about trying a 5K swim, but I never felt ready to tackle that much extra distance. So I have been considering trying an Aquabike for next year -- a longer swim and bike, but no run.  And somehow, I'm excited about racing again.

This winter, my goal is to do all that foundational strength work that I'd need to keep from getting injured. And, of course, get my weight down so that everything feels a little easier. You know how cyclists try to make every component of their bike as light as possible? I'm thinking that lightening the rider couldn't hurt.

None of this is rocket science, but I need a reason to keep me focused.  Human motivation is a crazy thing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Follow the Enell Ambassadors on social media

Aliah - Northern New Jersey/NYC
Twitter: @thegetfitdiva

Carrie - Wilson, NC 

Damie - Memphis, TN
Twitter:  @damieroberts17

Heather - St Petersburg, FL
Twitter: @YummySushiPjs

Jennifer (me!) - Toledo, OH 
Twitter: @toledolefty

Jenny -Tampa, FL

Julie - Atlanta, GA

Kelly Walker - Davenport, FL
Twitter: @livingthebefore

Liz - Eagan, MN
Twitter: @Lutherliz

Melissa - Anaheim, CA
Twitter: @TheDailyMel

Sarah - Shippensburg, PA
Twitter: @sparklyrunner

Jill - Philadelphia, PA 
Twitter: @RunningWCurves

Emily Sandford is our fearless leader, and you can follow her at:
Twitter: @AuthEmmie

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crazy but true...

A revelation:

I can't just eat whatever I want, log at the end of the day, and hope it works out so that I lose weight.

If I could do that, I wouldn't need to lose weight.

Crazy but true!

Someone brought this to a party. I took a small piece but left most of it on my plate. It didn't taste as good as it looked.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

5 steps to keeping your sports bras looking new

This post contains affiliate links, but represents my honest opinions. It is not a sponsored post.

As an Enell Ambassador, I feel it is my duty to help you keep your bras looking and feeling new.  A few quick steps right when you return from a workout (or unpack your gym bag) is all you need to keep your bras in great shape. I take care of all my bras, sport and not, this way, and I have some that are 5 or more years old that still look new.

Follow PerfectImperfect's board Bra Care on Pinterest.

1. Spot-clean, if necessary, using cold water and a gentle detergent. Enell recommends Soak Wash. When I bought bras at {intimacy}, they recommended Forever New.  In a pinch, I have also used Johnson's Baby Shampoo.  Remember that some residue from whatever you use might remain, so it shouldn't be anything irritating. If you are sensitive to fragrance, there is an unscented version of Soak Wash.

2. Fill your bathroom (or laundry room) sink with cold water and a small amount of the same detergent, and toss your bra in to soak. Follow the package directions for the amount if you are using one of the specialty products. For the baby shampoo, I use about a teaspoon.

3. Swish the bra around in the soapy water for a minute, then walk away let the bra soak for at least 5 minutes. Sometimes I forget to come back and this step lasts a little longer.

4. Drain the sink and rinse the bra completely.

5. Hang to dry.

I used to use lingerie bags for my bras and put them in the washing machine, but that is terrible for them. Those little hooks can come unhooked and get bent, and then the bra is ruined.

Whatever you do, don't put your bras in the dryer -- it ruins the elastic. I have a clothesline in my basement so that the neighbors don't have to get an eyeful of my lingerie collection. I have been known to hang them on the towel bar in my bathroom, but that can be embarrassing in the case of unexpected guests.

This may seem fussy, but when bras cost $64 and up, it's worth a little time to protect that investment.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

More shots from my Gwynnie Bee "Not a Model" session

When I was making the arrangements for my photo shoot for Gwynnie Bee, I learned that instead of sending a photographer to me, they would find a local photographer to work with me.  I was very lucky that they chose Gerri from Serendipity by Gerri, because she made the whole experience fun for me and took lovely, flattering photos.

She was nice enough to share some of the other shots that didn't make it into the Gwynnie Bee story in digital form, so that I can share them here. I'm hoping to figure out how to use these to make a new blog header and some About Me pages.  Classes just started, so that figuring all that out might have to wait.

There were 40+ photos, I enjoyed looking through them and picking my favorites.  Gerri did a great job getting me to relax and have fun, and I think my personality really shows through. I haven't done a photo shot by myself since my high school senior pictures back in 1988.

A lot of my favorites were of me in the Tart Collection Chloe dress -- the colors are beautiful and bright, and it looked good with and without the denim jacket. If I were wearing this dress to work, I'd definitely wear a slip or a cami under it:

My very favorite shot from the session. I love the way my hair looks.

I thought this one was cute and might make a great blog header.

This one shows more cleavage than I would like, but I thought the coffee might be a nice nod to my old blog header.
The Ilene Dress in Water Chevron was also by Tart Collection, and I loved the way it looked with the marble in the background of this photo. I wore my own belt, a silver one with an embellished buckle from ABS (another Gwynnie Bee brand):

I loved this one with all the columns. It was taken at the Toledo Museum of Art.
I liked how Gerri chose to use the gardens at the museum as the background for the Flor Electric Animal dress. The greenery harmonized nicely with the colors of the dress:

Another favorite shot. And my fancy purse is in it!

Once I figure out that custom header, look for a makeover on the blog.  Any suggestions or tricks of the trade you'd like to share are welcome.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Yesterday's weigh-in: At least I tracked

My week was marginally better than the last one -- I tracked, even though I was over points. I lost 0.4, so tracking still makes a difference over not tracking even when I'm not planning well enough to stay in my range.

This has been a chaotic time, so I'm not surprised that I have been finding it hard to focus. I will have a little more structure during the school year, and that might help a lot, especially because one of my classes is short enough to allow me to eat dinner at home at a somewhat reasonable hour. 

Goal: Get in the 160s by my birthday.

"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07