1. My strength routine.
So in this chapter, I will try something different, where hopefully I can find more joy in the moment. I will try group exercise again, I will go back to Yoga, I may even hold a plank or two when I feel like it. It may not be as efficient in making me strong enough for finishing an Ironman, but if I break the monotony and try to have fun for a change, things may just fix themselves. Who knows.
Today I took the first step in a different direction, literally. I went to Zumba! You know the theory about cross training for athletes who are used to going straight forward all the time (running, swimming, biking - d'uh) - it is said that you need cross training that makes you move laterally as well - and this is important for maintaining a good muscle balance in your body. Well, there was a LOT of lateral moving in Zumba for sure!! I was told that shoes were the most important, so I took my New Balance Minimus that had been neglected ever since my calves took too much of a beating, and the minimalist running fad ended. They were perfect. I also wore a Coeur tri top and a pair of Yoga pants.
One hour later I was glowing! This workout also made me cry at times, but it was more of an overwhelming feeling - I was on cloud number 9. I never felt so alive, jiggling my stuff like all these other girls who can.
I came home, and for once, I did not hate what I saw in the mirror, muffin top and stomach rolls.It also happened that Mary Eggers posted an image of her stomach and little did she knew, a Facebook thread started filling with other women posting images of their "non 6 pack abs" as well. I lifted my shirt too and took exactly one picture. I looked at it, I liked it. Maybe my brain is still in the post workout fog, maybe that I don't see all the belly fat because I still have an hourglass shape, maybe it just doesn't matter that much anymore. I had 2 children, multiple surgeries, I put on 50lb, I lost 50lb... but at the end of the day, I am still an triathlete, a marathoner, an Ironman.
2. My nutrition coaching. Things are going well, for the most part. We are now at the end of the third habit, and this was the one that I had most difficulty with. It also happened that I missed taking my thyroid medication for a few days in the middle of it and my body went beserk, treating me with some nasty side effects while I was testing my hunger levels. Thankfully the coaches jumped in quickly and addressed my concerns right away and for now, I think I am set on the next steps. In total this program has 12 habits, 6 months of coaching - and while I tend to lose patience not seeing any change on the scale, just like with strength training, I have to trust the process and continue believing that the habits that I am learning will eventually lead to a leaner body. Not giving up yet!
If you are interested in the program that I am following, you can always go see Georgie's articles on her website. She is awesome!
3. Swim/Bike/Run. I ran once this week - I tried doing 4:1s, outside - but left knee started hurting after 20 min.
I also biked once. It was the first time since my back injury - so it's been what, 3 weeks? I thought I could do a 1.5h workout... yeah, right. And most likely I could have, if I had the willpower, but there too I started crying in the middle of an interval. I was telling myself that there was no reason for working so hard with a busted knee ... and I would have liked a workout more enjoyable. So I
Arrow, but it ended being more of a Broken Arrow. As you can see, I did spend more than 20 min at threshold and almost 7 min at VO2max, so it was a quality workout anyway, but way too ambitious for a comeback. I guess I have to work my way back up here too. I am glad that I decided not to attend the group spin, or I would have made things even worse. Did I mention that I had knee pain after the spin too? But of course. When it rains, it pours. But if you were to ask me on a scale of 1 to 10 how bad it was, I'd say a 2-3. Certainly not an acute pain, but the same nagging feeling that I've been having for almost a year. Just there to drive me crazy.
I also swam once, and it was a good one! I had to leave the best for the end... I bought a pair of ROKA SIM shorts and I tried them today for the first time. What an amazing feeling!! They lift my bum just enough to remove maybe 5% of effort, which allows me to concentrate on form throughout the entire swim. Without them, I usually fatigue in the middle of the main set and the last exercises have a pretty horrid form. However today, not only my times were faster, but I finished the workout without feeling completely exhausted and my form did not suffer.
2x200 pull build
200 cooldown (50 alt stroke, 50 pull, repeat)
During the pull sets I knew that my bum was a little lower than with a pull buoy, but it did not prevent me from swimming well.
Overall, I still put in a good amount of effort as I kept kicking with them. I also tried a 2-beat kick here and there, to see if it makes a difference, but all I can remember is that it felt awkward and that I was putting in more effort than necessary to keep my limbs in sync.
Alright, I think you've seen enough close up shots of my body for a day. Time to end this post before I start peeling more layers. I'll leave you with my heart beat in the shape of a Zumba class. Guess how many songs we danced to?
Bear hugs to everyone!!