Sunday, June 25, 2017

Back on the Road.......

So this morning I woke up at 4:45am. I was awake so rather than go back to sleep for an hour and 15minutes, I got up. I decided to join the 5am club earlier this year after listening to Robin Sharma tell me of all the benefits. And I have to say I agree. One of the biggest changes has been to my sleep. I can now say...95% of the time I sleep through the night in a solid block. Years, I tell ya, years! since I have slept like this. So 5am it is, or just before. It's such a productive time, I did some study and then Big Gazza got up at 6am and we started our day.

The aim originally was to have the gang ride together. It was such a shame not to have everyone together. Roberto pulled the pin in the morning after a big night on the wine....someone has to intervene here, I think. And MrsS and The Mountain Goat stayed close to home and went out a little later in the day.

So it was just me, Big Gazza, The Onion Man and The Plasma. The boys seemed to be doing it easy, while I huffed and puffed along behind them. I felt like I was riding hard the whole way, not shattered, but working hard. A couple of small hills saw me dropped out the back :( But it was over before too long and we finished with 52kms. Yep, a whole 52kms!

Its interesting to watch the body work sometimes, the body does its thing and yep, it might be groaning and creaking from lack of use, fair enough. But the mind is such a sabotaging bitch sometimes. Wow, such a great positive reinforcement of ones abilities......boo hoo let's stop, this hurts, I don't want to do it anymore, why does it have to be so cold, aren't you to old for this? Shouldn't you be in bed. That kind of sabotage. You would think that at least your own brain would work and be on your side. I mean geez, you need a bestie at times and you can't even rely on yourself!

Having listened to Tony Robbins now I understand that the brain is wired for negativity as a defence system in case there is a lion in the bushes, so be on guard, everything just might eat you. Knowing this now, makes me understand and able to deal with it a bit better. Still doesn't come easy when you are hurting and the boys are pulling away up the hill. But awareness is the beginning of change hey.

So now I have to decide what to do next weekend. Head North with Coach. He wants me to go and I think I should, its just that I am embarrassingly under prepared and its going to hurt. I haven't ridden North for such a long time and yes it will be cold. Geez, there's that Bitch again!!!

I'll keep you posted.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Baby Elephant Chunks...........

So the come back has started. A great couple of swims so that this morning I felt pretty comfortable throughout the entire 3km set. I have made a date with The Onion Man now a few times and I have really enjoyed swimming with him. He laps me every 6-8 laps so I try hard to be aware and keep left for him. He is an amazing swimmer. The commitment to meet up with him has seen me getting out of bed with enthusiasm. I'm missing Roberto like mad, but hopefully we will have him back on the road soon. But The Onion Man keeps me honest too. He doesn't stop swimming until I have my set done. So for my 3kms he has easily done 3.5 to 4ks.

I had another fun session with the music on blast with good mate MrsS. She needed a push to get started and admittedly so did I. So when the tunes started pumping through the speakers and the lights of the Rave playing on the TV started flashing, I found the old spark and enthusiasm. We had a good laugh and because its winter I turned the heater on and so before too long we were sweating buckets in the dark and counting down the minutes with each set. Well, 1:15mins later and the buddy had to dash off and I was left feeling relaxed and happy. Happy to be back in the saddle.

The diet has been hit and miss for a while. Mostly 80/20 clean so not too bad, but no weight loss. But I have been reading Tony Robbins' book, Awaken the Giant Within. Tony prompts that while not easy, we simply need to make a decision. What ever it is, just decide. Transfer the decision to discipline and make good practice a habit. I had success with this with the 5am club of which I am now no longer a rookie trial member, but have signed up, subscribed and now a valued member of the 5am club. And, I have successfully rewired my neural pathways so that now, for the first time in so many years, I am sleeping through the night. It stands to reason that I can choose another thing I would like to change about me, make a decision, decide, apply discipline and subscribe until it becomes a habit. While I can't take on the whole list (as Big Gazza says the list is soooo long) I can choose the top couple to focus on. So the 'to do' list is diet and TV. (Next blog stay tuned)

Meanwhile,
Next step.... hmm, the road back to Triathlete has so many options. Let's see. I think importantly, I need to get back out on the road again. Find some hills. But first a cruise around the bock would be good too.

I heard something that stuck with me today from a Blog

The excuses you make are lies; and are apparent to everyone else but you!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Bottom of the Barrell........

Today, I have decided, is the bottom of the barrell. It's by no means the lowest of the low. But, it certainly is scraping knuckles on pavement, life sux kind of bottom of the barrel.

A quick recap. Not much to say other than, no serious training for 6 months now. Its just over 6 months since I tore the meniscus in my left knee. And now I am struggling to be able to fully straighten my knee. I can't lie on my stomach as it hurts my knee and can't stand on one leg or even stand on both for very long. Concerning, even if I wasn't planning on making a triumphant return to Ironman, it's no way to spend my normal life. I have considered taking up darts, but I don't think I'd be even be able to stand at the bar for a beer right now. Time to change it up.

A quick phone call with Coach who suggested I revisit the surgeon and get the knee cleaned up. So a phone call tomorrow to book an appointment is the first job. Nuts! I feel like I don't have a lot of time to spend waiting for things like this to happen. While others might say, you have all the time in the world. I feel like my triathlon career has an end date and I have a real sense of urgency to get back.

Having said that though, I feel I could as easily curl up in a ball and go to sleep. No activity makes me slow down and yes, its winter and I can bleat on for hours about how winter sux and I struggle and my body wants to hibernate. I think I have been writing this blog for some 8 years or so now and you will find a similar post each year somewhere in the archives related to this seasonal adjustment disorder I get. I try to think of the folk living in extreme cold climates and think how lucky I am to have such a mild place to see out my winter, but bah humbug!

Anyway, I have all of the systems, processes, tools, resources and warm clothes at my disposal to get back. But right now I have to be the most unconditioned I have been ever! Even before I took up Triathlon and running. That's why the bottom of the barrel reference. "Then I'm down in the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun." Yes, I know, always so dramatic.

So what ya going to do about it Sammi?

Well, focus on what I can do and can control. Make adjustments as required AND, get ready for the biggest come back of the millennia.....

Friday, March 3, 2017

Eeyore vs Tigger

I firmly believe there are two types of people in this world.

Eeyore and Tigger

Eeeyores or Tiggers.
 
Each has a different view on the world.
 
one has an outlook that is sunny, positive, up beat, loves life and bounces into their day. Just like Tigger.
 
And then there are those that sit back, and are slow to see the positive, worry about what might happen, approach life with a steady hand, some trepidation, or like to keep their feet planted on the ground. ol' mate, Eeyore.

Both are loveable characters otherwise A.A. Milne would never have brought them to life in his books and we would never have fallen in love with them.
 
I like to see myself as a Tigger. I'm bouncing into my day with gusto and enthusiasm. Life is fun! Life is a party, you just need to find the lemonade in every part of your day. I tell my team that we are in the business of squeezing lemons to make lemonade while the sun shines. Sure, sometimes the lemon gets added to a gin and tonic and sometimes we just need to suck on a lemon. But for the most part, I love lemonade.
 
 I hope that makes sense. It does to me anyway.
 
So, being a Tigger, I find it somewhat tedious and tiresome when I run into an Eeyore. They are hard work. Grumbling through life in a slow methodical way. Not really looking up and over the next tussock of grass in the field to see the wonderful sunset. I have to apply a lot of energy and effort to the relationship and often will grow tired of bouncing to share my energy and get any kind of response out of them. I wonder sometimes if they are even alive. What matters to them? Are they just existing? I find it hard to believe that people can mosey through life, while I am riding the roller-coaster waving both hands in the air....weeeeeee.
 
So anyway, this little Tigger is feeling a little Eeyore creeping inside. A bit woe-is-me about the knees. These tears are not getting any better. I got to the point of everyday life with out pain. And then could swim and bike without any pain during or after and found my kick again in the pool last Monday night at squad training. Then Coach said try a run. Well 43secs into the run and a sharp pain hit the knee. ok, stop. Pull up and walk all 50 metres home, aching ever since. I know I will get back to where I was and will be able to swim and bike again soon. But its now been 3 months. I'm losing my bounce and just going at it with a slow methodical, oh well, maybe this is never going to get better attitude. I don't like this Eeyore attitude in me.
 
I seriously hope that a year from now when I read this blog I will be able to laugh at myself and say "come on ol' girl, get up and bounce."
 
On the inside there is a Tigger just coiled, ready to spring back into life. I'm getting tired of the woe-is-me attitude so trying to keep a sunny attitude. But its hard after finally getting back to running 10kms and doing hill repeats and finally enjoying my running again, to be whacked again by an injury. A stupid injury too. Its Wollongong Tri this weekend and the gang are all racing AND to read that 'The Buzzard' is putting out on F.B that she is considering Busselton, is just rubbing salt in Tigger's eyes. T-I, double guh, err.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Yo, Over here....I'm over here......

NO, I haven't shut up shop. I'm still here.

December 6 2016, saw me tear the meniscus in two place on my left knee. From then until now it has been a slow recovery, MRIs and a resting bitch face that wont leave!

So where we are we at?

More determined than ever! Can I run another marathon? That's the million dollar question I guess.

I asked myself a question. What was working or what worked once upon a time, that I can bring back now and use. Sure, a lot of things have failed, or I grew bored. But there were a lot of things that did work. I only really realised they worked when they stopped being present. So, I have been dialling in a few things that worked previously over the last months while I have been rehabbing the knee.

  • I have pulled out the old training diary again and started to keep track of my progress, mood, energy, soreness, stress etc.
  • I have returned to Genesis gym. Close to home, 24/7. Its changed a lot but for the better, the gym seems more flexible. You can move weights about without fear of getting frowned at.
  • I have gone back to the Dietitian and have been staying off the scales and on the Dexa scans.
  • I have signed in to a Challenge to keep me focused and driven. I know now that I need to do 6 months hard work to get back to my race weight and reset the set-point for my weight. Slowly heading down again.
  • I am tracking my macros so I can keep my protein up.
  • Gone back to Vicki's stretch class, an hour and a half of sustained stretching. Of course the knees and wrists are cranky as.

new stuff to though:

  • Up at 5am every morning regardless
  • Listening to motivational podcasts
  • Also decided to throw in full-time study on top of everything else. Just to keep it interesting.
I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Setting Myself Some Rules.......

"Perfection isn't attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." Vince Lombardi

"Consistency on its own will take you far"..............

In no particular order.........

  1. Monitor fat loss by using a tape measure or body composition and photos, not just the scales only.
    • Well, I tend to hop on the scales once a week. Monday morning sees me naked in the hallway perched on top of the scales, one eye closed the other squinting and then a yelp of horror when after a solid week of focus there is no change....or worse, an increase.
    • I'm not totally na├»ve, I know that there is water weight, muscle weight, bone density that can increase weight. A body composition scan would be best. I was doing the Dexa scans once a month. But stopped a little while before my Europe trip. Maybe its time to head back for a truer snapshot of where I am at.
  2. Measure hips, legs, arms, bust, and waist.
    • I measure these areas approx. every 6 weeks. The stats have expanded. 4 cm added to the butt. oh dear.
  3. Cut out the refined carbs
    • Refined carbs and sugars have been cut significantly from my diet. I know where the sugar can be hidden, fruit juice, fruit, yoghurt and so I can tell roughly how much sugar I am getting. Usually between 6-8 teaspoons a day. Well within healthy ranges.
  4. Do strength/weight training
    • LACKING! I'm having a lot of trouble getting back into a gym routine. I miss having a training buddy to meet and work out with.
  5. HITT - High Intensity Interval Training
    • I haven't done any HIIT training in running for a long time. Walk/run is the standard fair. But sprints and walking I hardly do. Consider doing HIIT.
  6. Drink water - 1oz or water per pound of body weight = 4.5ltrs !!!
    • That's a lot of water. I need to double check these numbers. But adding lemon to my water has helped me increase the amount of water I am drinking.
  7. L-Luicene 1/2 teaspoon added to water daily.
    • Only on days I have worked out as it is so expensive. But I get it in my water bottle along with the lemon.
  8. Become an expert on diet and fitness
    • Working on it. I can pretty much hold my own in a conversation about the body and how it works. I would love to become a dietician. It fascinates me and I like the challenge. But what I don't like is knowing the information and still not acting on it or finding the consistency. its an excuse!
  9. 5-6 meals per day, 3 main + 2 snacks
    • Yep, got that one. 3 main meals and 2 snacks, plus a banana on swim days and if it is a heavy work load and the calories allow - then a protein custard and berries at night.
  10. Separate carb meals by 5-6hrs. Eat carbs at Breakfast and Dinner 2 meals a day only have carbs.
    • Hmm, this one is tricky and new to me. I find it easier to go without carbs at dinner time. but not having carbs at lunch time leaves me looking for the sweet biscuits and chocolate.
  11. No simple/refined carbs 30mins before exercise and 2hrs after????not sure about that one.
    • I can do the no refined carbs prior to morning exercise. But sometimes of an afternoon, especially before swimming I need a banana or something in my stomach otherwise I end up losing energy. Maybe a bigger lunch would be better.
  12. Snack on proteins.
    • All well and good, but I can't think of many protein snacks. Any suggestions out there?? Besides hard boiled eggs that is.
  13. Black coffee is ok
    • Oh Hallelujah! I can keep coffee. I have been drinking soy coffee of straight black, both with no sugar for some time now.
  14. 25% carb ratio for fat loss
    • My Fitness Pal saves the day. But 25% carbs gets there pretty quickly.
  15. use quality food (e.g lean meat vs bacon)
    • I think Gazza and I choose pretty clean, quality foods as much as possible. But could do better.
  16. Less processed food is best
    • We don't use processed foods. I haven't eaten a baked bean in ages. There is the occasional processed food of course, but on the whole I would say we are 98% good to go.
  17. It takes 72hrs to get carbs out of the system to start burning fat. Less if you exercise its less.
    • So when I finally want to hit some significant numbers, I need to get this part sorted. To do this try 1-2 weeks with 25% carbs.
  18. Take protein at night to stop sugar cravings/dessert
    • Sorted! We have found a protein custard that we have at night Isolate Protein, slow release.
  19. Look for low GI carbs as a preference
    • A little homework required here. But the more raw and least broken down is the go.
  20. No bananas apples grapes during fat loss phase
    • Cutting out bananas will be tricky. Swimming and on the bike, Bananas are a staple. Will give it some thought.
  21. Nuts only during maintenance.
    • So I ate all of the macadamias left in the pantry in preparation for the big cut. Going to miss my almonds. 
  22. Fat loss optimum Carbs 25% Protein 50% Fat 25%
    • Upping the protein has been the hardest part of the whole program so far. Shakes are the only way to make the numbers. But my previous protein mix was a 50/50 carb/protein mix so I have moved to protein only. I had a moment here and thought maybe that's where some sneaky carbs have been getting in.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

B.E.A.R and a moment of clarity

So, I have been thinking about B. E. A. R of late.
 
Basically this is in response to kind of, sort of, unconsciously signing up for the 2017 Noosa Triathlon.
 
How do you unconsciously sign up for a triathlon? Well, I didn't sign up in my sleep; I just made a quick decision to do the race without thinking it through. That includes the logistics of travelling 12 hours, getting my bike to the race, accommodation, getting leave off work etc. But what I did do was send Coach a quick "Noosa?" comment of FB and he responded with... "and is the Dude a fucking Champion?" That's a yes by the way.
 
So then why is this a big deal? Well, there are two thoughts or rather, B. - beliefs running through my mind right now. One little belief says, "You're old, 51 is done, hang up your running shoes, sit on the lounge and crochet a rug or something." while another belief says, you got this, you are an athlete, you are strong and you want to compete and do stuff that other average 51 year olds can't do and besides 51 isn't old!"
 
I find it interesting; the beliefs that we hold about ourselves. The little voices, the self belief, the talk we tell ourselves about ourselves. 'I'm fat, I'm lonely, I'm too short, my nose is too big, I'm old.' or other beliefs such as 'I am strong, I am an athlete, I am good at swimming, I got this, I can sign up for Noosa and compete AND do well. I can do anything I set my mind to.'
 
B stand for Belief. The belief about myself. Right now, to be honest, my self belief has two stories running concurrently. And more accurately I think one is the story that society has bestowed upon me and what I have been taught by the people around me. And this is the one I am fighting. I don't want to disappear, something my mum said to me years ago after she turned 50. She said she had disappeared from magazines and shops. Somewhere down deep her comment struck a chord and stayed with me and it is hounding me now. While the other voice/belief, for some crazy reason, has taken a back seat to the other story. I'm not sure why but I feel like it has been overrun by the stupidity of a false belief. I think it was the strong positive self belief, the one that says that I am a capable, strong athlete that signed me up for the 2017 Noosa triathlon. It snuck out there while no one was watching and pushed the enter button on my computer. It is the truth though, this strong self belief voice and I need to let it shout out loud much more often. And that is why I say, I unconsciously signed up for Noosa.
 
Belief leads to E. Emotions. From the moment of clarity (and I have to admit some time on the couch chatting with a professional with a piece of paper tucked behind a glass frame inserted here was needed). The realisation that turning 50 was a sign to myself to stop and the fact that this was a false belief and not of my own design, meant that I don't have to own it. I am free to let my true self belief come shining through. Coincidentally its interesting to add here, that one belief makes me feel so horribly bad and depressed. While the other lifts me up and I feel positive, energetic and strong. I sing in the mornings and cruise through my day at work. I am focused on the things that matter to me most of all.
 
So, Beliefs lead to Emotions. I feel focused, in the moment, present, in control. Not drifting through my week 'ticking boxes' (which btw is something Coach hates hearing from his athletes).
 
The Onion Man, Me, Slippery and The Plasma

Belief leads to Emotions which leads to A. Action. I set out yesterday, present and focused on what I needed to do during my ride. While I rode with the boys and chatted merrily, I also was focused on what Coach had set in my plan. And again today, I went out for my run. I didn't need to be poked in the ass with a cow prodder to get going. I was focused and engaged in the process. Action, setting goals and working out the process and strategies to get to the goal. Noosa. Working with Coach to make sure I arrive at the start line, prepared, present, focused and ready to 'get my hands dirty.' 12 months of solid, quality work is the road ahead for me.
 
And Action leads to R. Results. Todays run resulted in one of the best sessions I have done in such a long time. I felt light as I ran up the hill doing hill repeats. I was relaxed in mind and body. I didn't want to be anywhere else. I didn't want the session to end early so I could be home. I didn't want someone else there with me to distract me from the pain. I stayed focused and the result was a fantastic feeling of accomplishment. R. for Results.
 
Beliefs lead to Emotions which lead to Actions and end in Results!