Sunday, December 28, 2014

Triathlon training: December 22-28

TrainingPeaks Log


My TrainingPeaks diary (affiliate link) is looking pretty full this week -- even though I skipped one planned swim, I got more than 8 hours of training in during the past week.  In the premium version, a workout completed as planned is green, one that was too long or too short is yellow, and one that was missed completely is orange. I'm finding that it works best for me to plan slightly more activity than my goal (which this week was 7:30) because it's easier to drop a planned workout from the schedule than to add an extra one in. I was a little long last week, but since I was sick the week before, I decided it was okay to be a little over.

My triathlon coach holds three weekly rides in the "Pain Cave," a.k.a. her basement. My bike is there, all set up on a trainer, and those rides are the skeleton of my training plan each week, along with the weekly Sylvania Masters Swim practice on Sunday.  Then I add in runs and other workouts to fill in the needed hours.

I found a great new class at the JCC called Group Power, which is a strength training class similar to Body Pump.  They are just running some test sessions for now, but I plan to hit that class twice a week to finally do the strength work I know I need. I'll also shoot for a yoga or Pilates class every week to add more strength and flexibility work.

It has been tough to get that second swim in with holiday schedule disruptions (my own and the gyms'), but once everyone is back to work and school, I can fit in a morning swim once a week.

I am feeling great, tired but strong.  19 hours of training down, 439 to go.

Book Review: Up and Running by Julia Jones and Shauna Reid

Pre-order now at UpandRunning.org
When asked by the lovely Shauna if I would like a free advance copy of Up and Running: Your 8-week Plan to go from 0-5K and Beyond and Discover the Life-Changing Power of Running to review, of course I said, "yes please!"

As you probably know, Shauna is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl, and she has been working with Coach Julia Jones for the past few years to offer an online running community and training courses for women (and a few men, I think) who always thought they weren't skinny enough, or athletic enough, or whatever enough to be runners.

I did the Up and Running 10K training course a few years ago, so I was familiar with the Up and Running philosophy.  There are lots of other beginner 5K programs out there, but this one is, as far as I know, the only one that also incorporates drills and exercises designed to strengthen the feet, ankles, and legs and stave off the dreaded shin splints. 

With the Up and Running plan, you won't just be walking and running, you'll be skipping, marching, squatting, and stretching as part of your weekly workouts.  The "free-form running" philosophy means that you won't be left out if you can't run the full distances just yet.

This book doesn't just give you a training plan, it also helps you deal with the mental aspects of starting and sticking with a running plan, like self-consciousness and motivation. It also addresses issues like proper diet, running form, and the all-important question of what to wear when running. There are even tips for keeping your feet soft and (relatively) callous-free. 

The biggest plus for me are all the full-color pictures.  I couldn't believe the book when I saw it.  Every page is a glossy feast for the eyes.  Exercises are described in detail with accompanying instructional photos, but there are also profiles of Up and Running alums with accompanying pictures.  The photos make running look fun and accessible. 

My only quibble is that it might be a little difficult for a beginner to figure out a way to put these workouts in her pocket for a run.  There are some journal pages on pages 156-157 that summarize the workouts in a small space -- I'd recommend either photocopying these and cutting them out, or copying them onto a Post-It and sticking them to your phone.  I know the authors recommend programming the workouts into an app, but I'm not sure how to do that and I'm a techie.  Maybe the authors could offer instructions on the Up and Running site.  


The other thing that might be tricky for U.S. runners is that most of the distances are in kilometers, and most running courses around here are marked out in miles (except tracks, which are 400 m,  2 1/2 laps per K).  Any of the recommended GPS running apps should take care of this problem, as you can change the distance measurements in the Settings.  A kilometer is about 3/5 of a mile, so using K might make it feel like you feel like you are running further faster.  It will also help you have a better sense of how to pace that 5K. 

This book would make a great gift for anyone who has a New Year's Resolution to run a 5K this year.  It really covers everything a beginner needs to get started and, more importantly, keep going. Once you complete the 5K, there are recommendations for your next steps and even some bonus 10K plans. Pre-order links are available from the Up and Running site. There is also an undated training diary available, if you want more space to record your workouts and plan future races.

Friday, December 26, 2014

"It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through"



I'm a latecomer to the Frozen bandwagon, but I finally downloaded it to my iPad and watched it the whole way through after seeing my nephews watch snippets of it. Then, of course, I downloaded the whole soundtrack to my iPhone. So if you see me rocking out in my car to "Let it Go," please don't judge.

The song speaks to me because it's about refusing to keep playing small to make other people safe.  This is the song where Elsa finally stops trying to suppress her power and decides to see what is possible for her.  (Yes, she also locks herself away in a castle made of ice, but don't ruin my metaphor here.)

It's so easy to for me to fall into a rut of playing it safe. It means things are a little easier. I don't have to challenge myself or risk failing.  In 2015 I want to take more risks and shoot for bigger goals.

My training for the Half Aquabike is going really well. Using TrainingPeaks Premium (affiliate link) to plot out and track my training has helped a lot, and now that I'm finally over the bug I had last week, I am feeling strong and confident.  I needed the big goal to help shake everything else into place. If I don't train adequately, I am going to have a very bad day in September, and that thought gets me out the door to do my workouts.

I've also read more of Racing Weight (review coming soon) and it has some really sensible advice on how to improve diet quality. It also warns endurance athletes about setting weight loss goals that are too ambitious -- a 500-calorie a day deficit, which is what is typically recommended for dieters, is likely to interfere with training and cause a loss of power.  A deficit of 500 calories is needed to lose a pound a week, so I have decided to set a half-pound a week average weight loss goal instead, which would mean I could be 20 pounds lighter for my race. I am learning that would be even a bigger help than I thought.

Finally, I have a review copy of another book I'm excited to read, Up and Running.  It just arrived the other day and it looks beautiful, with lots of gorgeous full-color pictures. Expect a review of that early next week. I can definitely use some advice on my run, which is by far the weakest leg of my triathlon.

I'm ready to test my limits in the coming year.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

A busy week!



This week was mostly a good one, but really busy. I logged my food about 1 out of every 2 days. I had my birthday and did a lot more eating out at restaurants than usual. It was the last week of classes and we had graduation this weekend, plus I had required edits on an accepted conference proposal.  This week, I need to get my grades turned in and work on 2 syllabi.

I squeezed in a Weight Watchers meeting so I could hear about all these "big changes," and... yawn. Not that big. I do like the emphasis on the Power Foods and the new realistic tone, but most of the changes seem to be a change of style and emphasis rather than a big change of program. The biggest change is that you can pay extra for one-on-one virtual coaching.  If I'm paying for coaching, it's going to be triathlon coaching.

I was supposed to train 7 hours and 30 minutes this week but only got in 5 hours and 40 minutes. "Only" seems like a weird word in that sentence, but I have a big race to train for.  I have next week's training plotted out and I think I'll actually get more than the 7 hours and 30 minutes planned, because I'll add in some strength work.

I read the first chapter of Racing Weight in a spare moment and found it a bit of a revelation. The author, Matt Fitzgerald, describes just how much impact excess weight has on racing performance:
Excess body fat is the enemy of performance in every endurance sport. For example, a runner weighing 160 pounds has to muster about 6.5 percent more energy to run the same pace as a runner weighing 150 pounds. 
He goes on to describe running on a treadmill that simulates a lighter body. He felt much fitter at 90 percent of his body weight and found it made him feel fitter and made running feel "like normal running, only so much better."

If a relatively thin and fit athlete like him feels that, I can't imagine what would happen if I could suddenly be at my Weight Watchers goal weight, which is about 85% of my current weight.  I found the idea motivating.  But then I tried his racing weight estimator, which suggests that at 44, I should weigh what I did when I was in my peak condition in college, and yet have an even lower body-fat percentage. So we will just pretend that didn't happen.

I feel light and graceful and powerful in the water, and even on my bike, I feel like I can really crank the pedals.  As a runner, I feel like a lumbering, sweaty mess, almost as if some kind of aquatic animal was forced up on land. Oddly, I still enjoy running if I can ignore that feeling.  But what if I could feel light and graceful and powerful when I ran?  I'm not sure it's possible, but it sounds worth making an effort for.




Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Happy 44th Birthday to Me!

I don't look a day over 22, do I? 
When I was a kid, I hated that my birthday is in December, but I've grown to like it. I have a Christmas tree in my house this morning, I'm enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, and my classes are almost over. It's sort of nice starting that end-of-year reflection early -- it gives me a little jumpstart.

I had a bit of a hard year this year with my dad's illness and passing. But there were lots of bright spots too. I think this year I learned to appreciate the good things in each passing moment in a way that I hadn't always been able to before.

I have big hopes for the year ahead. Signing up for that big race is what I needed to change my perspective on training -- I had just been slogging away at it, hoping to take off the excess pounds without any other real focus. The races I was doing were too easy to make me feel really motivated for the training itself, so it was all about calories. I feel like the training has taken on a new meaning now -- I can see what I'm building.

I have started to work on some other goals too. It may take a while for those to snap into focus. There are some changes I'd like to make, but mostly, I love my life.  I'm feeling very blessed this morning.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Meeting with a triathlon coach

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I met with a triathlon coach last night to discuss my race goals. To my surprise, she didn't sound doubtful I could do what felt to me like a very ambitious schedule. Instead, she clearly thought I should commit to just do the half and not the aqua bike

She's a five-time Iron finisher. I guess that I shouldn't have been surprised that she has high expectations. I'm just used to people looking at me and thinking, "not an athlete."

I got a little overwhelmed seeing all the hours of training I'll need to do sketched out at once.  And of course, I'm a little afraid my body won't hold up. She did tell me that part of the problem was that I wasn't training strategically -- I just kept ramping up my training instead of backing down periodically.

Another thing that overwhelmed me was the stuff that she suggested I buy or think about buying. In fact, I started to write this post as a Triathlete Gift Guide, but quickly realized that some of this stuff, like a power meter, is too technical for me to really understand and make recommendations. The two I am most seriously thinking about are:

A GPS watch and heart rate monitor.  Since the Garmin Forerunner 920XT came out, it is possible to get some pretty good deals on the Forerunner 910XT, the past reigning champion. But Garmin also seems to be getting some competition from the Polar V800. I'm hoping that the competition might inspire some more competitive pricing. There are also good options available that are a step down in price, including the Polar M400.


A TrainingPeaks Premium upgrade. The upgrade allows an athlete to plan future workouts and sync to an Outlook or Google calendar -- both really valuable features for me. There are also premium-only analysis tools and graphs. I'm a little annoyed at myself that I missed the chance to upgrade for 25% off on Cyber Monday, but I was sure I was going to stick to paper logging.


I hate that this is such an expensive sport. I think a lot of people enjoy the gearhead aspect of it, but I don't have the income to enjoy spending $300-$400 on a single piece of equipment.  I just dropped $130 on a new pair of triathlon bike shoes because the $100 pair I bought three years ago are too small and are making my feet numb. And found out in the process that the cleats for my clipless pedals are almost worn through and will need to be replaced this spring. I try to remind myself that the work is the important part, and that I don't need to squeeze every last minute off my time.

The coaching, though, was probably a good investment.  I needed help organizing my training, especially because I'm stepping up to bigger events.

Follow PerfectImperfect's board Triathlon Gift Guide on Pinterest.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Changes coming to Weight Watchers

I have heard rumors about the changes coming to Weight Watchers and even saw a blog post that was published prematurely (and taken down) that outlined some of the changes coming.  The biggest change, as far as I can tell, is stylistic:



This commercial captures so much about the complicated, emotionally-charged relationship most of us have with food. And it's not as simple as knowing that you are doing it -- most people who are emotional eaters are somewhat aware of it, but the food-mood connection is culturally embedded. Even a book I was listening to about changing unhealthy behavior patterns suggested walking away from an emotionally-charged encounter with a relative at a family party to "have some of Mom's deviled eggs." The fact that the authors of a "Recovery Lite" book suggested food as a way to avoid a scene, even though they talk about unhealthy eating behaviors in other places in the book, tells you everything you need to know about how difficult this behavior is to root out.

I like my Weight Watchers leader because she acknowledges that it isn't always easy to follow the program. She jokes about weighing in in her nightgown, and I'm pretty sure she's serious.  My beef with Weight Watchers was always that there was no acknowledgement of the struggle. It was as if someone thought that we just needed to learn that carrots were healthier than carrot cake and that the whole bag is not usually the portion size, and we'd magically drop all our unwanted pounds, chanting poems about "Ten Little Weight Watchers" as we cheerily exit the meeting room, picking up two or three boxes of Snack Bars on our way out:
We want a down-to-earth leader that knows that no matter how many times you chant, "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change," you still have to eat less food to lose weight, and that it sucks sometimes. We need a leader who can agree with us that it sucks, but gently and firmly tell us we still are going to have to do it anyway. It would be a bonus if she could give us some realistic advice on how to do that.
I'm glad to see things moving more in that direction. I wonder what they are going to do with the chirpy ones.  Maybe there will be a sort of re-education program?


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Logging, revisited


I need to log my triathlon workouts and progress. After my initial review, I had decided to try the Beginner Triathlete app, but it just didn't capture my interest.

A local coach I have considered working with uses the Training Peaks app, so I decided to play around with it on my computer. I decided to take advantage of the 7-day trial the premium version, and I was having fun planning out workout ideas and playing with it.  Then I thought, maybe I could just use the basic version. The one thing I wanted that the basic version does not include -- you guessed it -- is the ability to plan out workouts ahead of time. So I think I will be investing in that if I stay interested through the free trial period.

It also connects with Garmin Connect, should I ever get a compatible device. I still feel a little iffy about spending that kind of money on one, at least as long as my heart rate monitor is still working. I am kind of hoping someone I know will get the new fancy one and be looking to unload an older version for cheap. I put one on my Elfster wish list, just in case there is ever one of those contests where you win your wish list there....



Friday, November 28, 2014

I blame it on the wetsuit

Let's recap:

On Sunday, I did a hard swim workout, race day. This was super-fun and I enjoyed challenging myself.

On Monday, I did a 20-minute run at 7 a.m. and then a hard bike ride at 7 p.m.  Fine so far -- I took it a little easier on the bike ride because I was tired from the run.

On Tuesday, I did a rowing class at 7 a.m. I knew that I was tired from the day before and I had some weird aches and pains. I told myself I would take it easy and just enjoy the workout. Then I got caught up in the class, and the instructor cheering me on, and "went for it."

"It" turned out to be back pain.  I have never in my life felt so bad. I limped through the rest of the day -- I had work to do and meetings until 4 p.m., and then I went home to lean on an icepack and watch Mad Men reruns.

I still had some thoughts of trying to do the 5K I was scheduled to do on Thursday. I thought I would be back to normal the next day.

I woke up Wednesday with some soreness but could walk without pain, mostly. I took it easy most of the day, doing normal activity but no working out. I had family in town and picked up my nephew and felt a twinge, but other than that, was feeling better.  I picked up my packet. I went to bed and set the alarm as if I were going to the race.

Thursday morning I knew I shouldn't do the race. I thought about walking, but as we can see from my history, telling myself to take it easy is not a reliable strategy. If I tried to walk, I might run and then I might hurt myself and miss my chance to enjoy time with my family. No way.

Today it's Friday and I am still sore. I am thinking that setting my big goals caused me to overreach a bit. I need to find a balance between being motivated and being a lunatic.  I know that it is possible. I just have to give myself permission to be a badass only ONCE per 24-hour period.

But the wetsuit does look a bit like a superhero outfit, so I think it's an easy mistake to make.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Why I'm NOT representing Enell at a Turkey Trot this morning

Living turkey

I was supposed to be running a turkey trot right now in my role as Enell Brand Ambassador. Instead, I'm on the sofa, babying my sore back.

I overdid it this week. Instead of doing a taper like a sane person, I did two workouts on Monday, a run and a hard bike ride. Then I went to a rowing class, and got a little carried away.  I didn't feel it during the workout, but when I stopped and stood up, I was in excruciating pain.

I'm definitely grateful NOT to have pain like this most of the time. I don't know how people function. I had to work all day, and was hobbling because it hurt to walk or stand.  People asked me all kinds of questions about whether it was muscular or skeletal -- I didn't know because I had never had real back pain before.

I took it easy when I got home from work, watching Mad Men reruns while leaning on an icepack.  The next day I woke up sore but I could walk. Today my back is tender but not terrible.  I considered going to the race and trying to walk, but I know myself too well -- I'd get carried away and want to run. I don't want to risk re-injuring myself. Once I decided to bail I was sure it was the right decision.

At least the entry fee went to a great cause, Hospice of Northwest Ohio.  I will find an opportunity to make this up and represent Enell when I'm healthy and fit.


Monday, November 24, 2014

A rainy morning.

I was not happy to notice rain coming in the back of my garage this morning.

I called someone weeks ago to get a quote and he is still not getting back in touch with me, so I am going to have to find someone else. My husband is supposed to ask the shop teacher for names, and he keeps forgetting too. Any blog readers have a good contact in Toledo for small construction projects?


I almost thought about going to run at the gym, because it was raining pretty hard. It calmed down for most of my run and I thought I had gotten away with it, and then the sky opened up.


I took a break from the rain under the covered bridge to show how hard it was raining.


I took a picture to show how soaked I was but you can't really tell. That jacket was stuck to me.


The rain stopped just as I was getting in my car. Isn't the light in this next photo amazing? You don't get a view like that from the treadmill.


I really prefer to run outside in almost any weather to the drudgery of the treadmill.  I'm glad I got out today, as I'm not going to get many more 50+ degree days in 2014.



Sunday, November 23, 2014

If you have an hour and a half to spare...



The daily-blogging thing really got away from me this week.

A friend from one of my online communities posted the link to this video. The audio is really interesting but the video is useless because it focuses only on the doctor and not the slides.  I treated this like a podcast and listened to it while I worked on laundry and other things.

Some key interesting points:

  • Bariatric medicine is not just about weight loss
  • Doctors should focus on improving health, not just lowering weight
  • Doctors should focus on behavior goals, not weight goals
  • Stopping weight gain is the first goal in treating obese patients
  • Each person should be treated as an individual, not given a one-size-fits-all solution


Lots of other good stuff here as well. His major point is that weight is not a reliable proxy for health. If doctors adopted this approach, it would require a paradigm shift.

I am adding his blog to my reader -- some great insights here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The road ahead


In a few weeks I'll be turning 44, and I just lived through the death of my father. Not surprisingly, I have been thinking a lot about the direction my life is going and whether I'd like to make any changes.  I'm thinking that it's time to at least start exploring the possibilities.

Some things I definitely don't want to change. I'm happy with my marriage and family life (just in case you were wondering, Jesse) and I like where I live.

I know I'm ready to start pushing myself more physically, which is why I put together an aggressive set of goals for next year's triathlon season. I'm going to put some time into building strength this winter, and I also have picked up rowing classes as a new item in the rotation, which works my arms, back, core, and legs.

I also want to take a few more smart risks (no jumping off buildings). Life is too short to postpone going after my dreams. I'm still working on some of the details, but I want to take some steps toward a better, more fulfilling life.  I will keep you all posted.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Training log fail


I just don't do well with logging my training. I managed it for a week.

I went to "catch up" my log using my old Polar F7, and found that the diary erases itself every new calendar week. So that's completely useless. It's worthwhile for seeing the heart rate during the workout, but that's it.

I seem to be failing at every possible method.  Maybe I need something like Garmin Connect that just logs for me as long as I start the thing up? The feature is available on some lower-cost watches, like the Garmin Forerunner 15 Bundle.

Maybe I should just accept that logging isn't for me?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Race plans and free race planning calendar


I have some ambitious race goals for next year.  As I said before, I signed up for a Half Aquabike at Cedar Point's Rev3 Challenge. I am also committing to several other races as warmups, including my third try at an Olympic distance triathlon.

I was looking for a template for a planning calendar like the one above all over the web and couldn't find one.  If you'd like to use it, you can download a blank version of the calendar above as a PDF for printing, or as a Word Document so you can modify as you'd like.

Do you have any big race plans for next year?


Brooke's Skinny Snowman Challenge

I have been in a Weight Watchers slump since mid-September, so I decided to re-energize my healthy habits by joining Brooke's Skinny Snowman Challenge. I have never joined it before, but I think I need it this year. Plus it means I will have support from some of my Fitbloggin' buddies. I think it should be fun.

Brooke is charging $5 to enter the challenge, which includes access to a private Facebook group, the materials to use to participate plus a chance to win prizes. She hadn't charged in past years, but I'd prefer to be part of something where people pay at least a small fee so that there is a smaller, more serious group.

I have already been testing out the challenge chart, which reminds me a lot of Gretchen Rubin's Resolutions Chart, with daily habits that will contribute to weight loss (or maintenance) success:
Some of the challenges you’ll have to complete to get points are drinking water, logging your food, and finding positives in every day. There are also weekly mini challenges to complete for bonus points.
Brooke didn't ask me to promote her challenge but I think it's a great way to stay on track so I wanted to pass the link along to my followers.  Let me know if you decide to participate!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Have you tried Canva?

NaBloPoMo fail: I meant to publish this yesterday, but forgot. I'll catch up by posting a second time later today:

My digital portfolio

If you haven't tried Canva yet, I recommend you try it. I created the header to this blog and the document above using this free, simple tool. It allows anyone to create professional-looking documents, blog headers, and pin-worthy images. 

Canva allows you to upload your own photos and use a lot of free, professional-looking design elements (everything I have used so far was free) and also has premium elements available for only a dollar.  Once you finish your design masterpiece, you can send a link to it, save it as a PDF, or save it as an image file.

The only drawback I have found so far is that clickable links do not seem to work on mobile devices, only desktop/laptop machines. That is a very big drawback if you are (like I was) planning to send your portfolio with links to someone who might open it on a phone or tablet and think it didn't work.  

The authoring tools are also only available for desktop/laptop machines so far, but that is less of a drawback.

Have you tried Canva? What did you use it for?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The trouble with selfies

Note: This post contains affiliate links.


I purchased a Mini Adjustable Tripod Support Stand Camera Holder and Muku Shuttr Remote to help me take better Gwynnie Bee outfit photos (and for other uses).   The equipment is okay, though the tripod is a little tippy (I wish I had purchased the JOBY Gorillapod Tripod instead).


Testing the shutter
The problem wasn't so much the equipment as the fact that it's really hard to get the angle right. If I use the front-facing camera, there is a weird fisheye effect that causes some strange distortions.

Huge hand!
If I use the rear-facing camera, I can't see what I'm doing and it's up to chance to get a decent shot.

Corey Poppy Handkerchief Hem Dress by Gwynnie Bee

Awkard fake smile
It's also hard to smile naturally alone.  I just felt weird. And of course, there is my tendency to close my eyes when the shutter goes off.

Fun fact: I close my eyes in about one out of three photos

Another stiff, awkward face
Something I had not anticipated is how hard it is to get a flattering angle, especially when I can't see what the photos look like.

Under the chin is not the best angle for photos
This dress is comfortable but I'm not so sure it photographs well.  Or maybe it is just photographer error? Do you have any selfie tips for taking natural and flattering photos?


Monday, November 10, 2014

Do you want an honest blog, or a happy-perfect one?


I often admit when I've had a bad day or when I make a less-than-perfect choice. I think that's important -- I could easily give you a happy-perfect blog by only telling about the good stuff.  But I think that would be pretty boring, and I imagine most readers would too.

I'm trying to do things in a certain way, which I don't know if everyone understands and I'm sure not everyone agrees with. I'm trying to make my changes in such a way that I genuinely enjoy them and can keep them up long-term. I'm making the changes I'm ready to make. In the meantime, I'm happy with myself the way I am. That's what Perfect in Our Imperfections is all about.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

What I did last week


So far I have been keeping up with my training log at beginner triathlete.com. It's simple and straightforward.  

Sunday: Masters' swim practice.  It felt pretty intense.
Monday: Warmup walk for 5 minutes, ran 20 minutes, walked 3 minutes, cool down walk was a little more than 5 minutes.  Went to the park and ran on the new bridge at Wildwood Metropark.
Tuesday: Rowing class
Wednesday: Rowing class
Thursday: Spin class
Friday: Same run workout as Monday in the evening at the quarry.
Saturday: Short home kettlebell routine.

I tend to fall off my Weight Watchers logging on the weekends -- missed part of Friday and all of Saturday. Getting back on it right now. 

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Busy day

I went on a field trip to the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn and had no time to post. Here is how I look with a headscarf:


Friday, November 07, 2014

"I'm the kind of person who ______"

I really believe a lot of life is about how you complete that sentence. I realized in my Weight Watchers meeting this last week that I was subconsciously telling myself, "I'm the kind of person who has a lot of trouble losing weight." Changing that perceived identity to, "I am the kind of person who will get to her goal weight," is going to take a little work. But just in the last week, I changed from thinking "I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to plan meals ahead" to "I'm the kind of person who likes to know what she's eating for her next meal."


Today I met a friend for lunch and I had good intentions. I was going to order the grilled chicken salad with fruit and balsamic vinaigrette on the side.  Instead, I rolled with peer pressure and ordered a (light) pasta dish and split an appetizer and dessert. And I didn't like being the kind of person who overate at lunch all that much, especially when I tried on clothes and felt self-conscious of my very full belly, which seemed huge.
It was a beautiful day and I hadn't worked out yet, so when I got home, I changed into running clothes and got out there. I took a couple of pictures to remind myself that I'm the kind of person who likes running.



Thursday, November 06, 2014

Heart rate monitors, continued

Note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. 



Yesterday, I posted this image of my HRM after a hard rowing workout. That number was higher than I'd seen before, but several people said it was possible, especially as a temporary high number. I felt fine so I didn't think much of it, except to congratulate myself on being fit enough to work that hard and recover from it quickly.

But then today, during my Spinning workout, I noticed that my chest strap was really uncomfortable, to the point of being unbearable. I tried to adjust it and found it was broken.


Luckily, we had some other chest straps around the house and I found three that works -- so there is one for me, one for my husband to use with the other watch, and one spare. But I also added a Garmin Forerunner 15 with Heart Rate Monitor to my wish list. If I'm going to eventually need something new, I'd like the GPS capability. This one comes in teal and purple -- I prefer the purple, of course.  There are much more expensive Garmin options, but I can't even come close to justifying their expense to myself, let alone anyone else. This model is comparable to anything else that I would like, and it has the Garmin Connect function, which would work with the triathlon logging app I'm using.  I will continue to use what I have until I get something new or it stops working.

Inspired by my food service experience, I made up a big batch of an egg casserole, sort of a crustless quiche with kale.  I had some today and it was delicious. I also made my Quinoa and Edamame Salad, which is best served cold.


12 eggs, cooked kale, skim milk, 2 slices sprouted bread cut into cubes (optional), herbs, feta, salt & pepper 
Finally, moving forward from my Dr. Dennis Gross trial, I'm starting a new experiment with the Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream. I took my before photo last night, making sure to avoid the distracting purple walls this time.  I used the first dose last night, and though my skin was a little itchy this morning, it doesn't seem too irritated, which is a good sign. I'll see how I do with the sample before opening the full-sized bottle. 




"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