Coaching?

I am pretty much the epitome of a rookie when it come to triathlons. I haven’t really even raced competitively in a cycling or swimming event. I am extremely passion about getting to my first tri and really being great. 

Everyone has there reasoning for competing in a triathlon or making it a part of their lives and competively racing. I want to be part of the latter. However, are these just visions of grandeur, is my mind running ahead of my actual capabilities as an athlete? That is a scary question. I know that in every situation mentally and physically straining I have overcome and persevered where others faltered. I can say that with confidence, I know that my own will can get me through. I just want some direction some solid training. I want to add onto my will and partner that will the some skill. 

So here is my question. Am I ready for a coach? I have a quoted prove of $350 a month and this would include training and nutritional plan as well as heart zone specifics for each workout. Does this sound like a good plan?? Curious and excited to hear your responses!

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Can I stick with it 

Already I’ve had some solid weeks of training and some periods where I’ve done absolutely nothing. I feel that this time I am really sinking into a flow. 

I’m better at following through with things when I do the complete change. Eating, working out, sleeping, and even thinking; I have to change all of those patterns. If I change one or two I may follow my training for a little while but boom before I know it I’ve sat on the couch all week eating velvetta and five cheese pizza all week. So a little over a week ago I made the decision that it was time to throw myself into change. 

I have a wonderful trip planned to cabo with my other half and I want to look good and feel good when we get to enjoy our much needed alone time. Plus I have been reading a lot and following a lot of triathletes and with all the Olympic qualifying races I am some what obsessed with attempting one. So it’s a perfect time to start. 

This week I have changed drastically:

No drinking 

Drinking lots of water

Advocare CORE eating plan

One discipline workout every other day

Incorporating yoga daily

Sleeping consistently 

Crosstraining/weightlifting 

So far these change have made a difference. I’m not much about the scale although I think I have lost weight and gained some muscle, I feel much much better in all aspects.

7 days into yoga I feel mentally and physically strong. Cross training breaks up the workouts and I want to do everything in my power to prevent injury. 

I hope to find my next big event very soon .

The first cycling event


I am one of those people that need a legit set in stone event to get me motivated enough to prepare/train. I bought a beautiful black cannondale road bike and signed up for a 66.5 mile bike ride. I practiced inside and did two 20 mile bike rides in preparation, but I still really wasn’t comfortable on the bike. Before I knew it the morning of the ride arrived and I was feeling anxious. I strapped on my gloves, camelbak, and helmet headed down market street in Philly. 

I coasted into the crowd of 3,000 participants and immediately felt empowered by the first few bars of the Rocky soundtrack. I looked at my team which included my mom and dad (divorced, there together to support me, and not cyclists). Finally the crowd began moving forward and we pedaled over the first part of the Ben Franklin Bridge. At 6:30 the sun was already beaming down on us, I realized that the next 66 miles were going to be rough. 

My mom riding on a beach cruiser was flying past seasoned bikers. I struggled to stay in eyeshot, pounding my pedals downward. A helpful tenured cyclist road up along side of us as we all pedaled furiously on an incline. His bike seemed to be floating effortlessly up the hill, “shift down on the inclines, all you want to be doing is pedaling, don’t work your legs to hard on this,” he offered his wisdom. We all began shifting gears trying to figure out what he was talking about. The first 20 miles were extremely difficult, my dad was surrounded by med staff when he couldn’t get up a hill and my girlfriend fell injuring her elbow and knee. Dispite the exhaustion I was feeling in control of my bike for the first time. There was only one down hill where I lost control of the pedals and almost fell.

As we made a quick left into the halfway point rest area, I suddenly became aware of off hot I was. I became so nauseous I couldn’t even talk. Unsure of what to do I headed toward the food station, started picking at a half of a bagel and taking shelter from the sun under a tent. My legs were weak and I was beginning to doubt my ability to finish. Somewhere inside my mind I decided that I would beat this course and finish. The bagel helped, I jumped on my bike and started out again. 

40 miles to 58 we were all just going through the motions, trying to keep a decent pace because we knew we were really close to the cut off time. The second to last rest stop was where everything changed for me. My bike on its kick stand I walked over to refuel on watermelon and bananas, then as I looked back my bike was on the ground. This part of jersey had become so windy that the wind literally blew my bike over messing up the brakes and my tire. Racing over to the bike repair tent I begged the kid to fix my bike. He said he could fix the brakes and straighten the wheel enough for me to finish, he went to work quickly. “Wow your tires are low, I’m gonna pump them up, yo your gonna blow by everyone now,” the kid said as he was grabbing the pump. My mom laughed, she was having not trouble and acting as if she was cruising on the boardwalk. “Good I need her to be fast,” she said elbowing me jokingly. I thought the kid was nuts and that he must not have realized I had already biked 58 miles. I got on my bike and my entire world changed. I rode easily up an incline, smiling and in disbelief I rode ahead feeling weightless. So total ROOKIE mistake I had been riding the entire race without air in my tires! 

The rest of the ride was fairly easy for me, we made all the cutoff a and were able to finish the race at the AC Boardwalk together as Team Bingo! Completing my first event was amazing. I feel like I am on the road to recovery and that I may actually be able to do a triathlon. My leg and back were sore but not terrible pain the next morning (which was a miracle to me). 
Betty’s Bikers also known as Team Bingo participated in the American Cancer Society sponsored bike ride Bridge to Beach from Philadelphia PA to Atlantic City NJ 66.5 miles.

This race was dedicted in loving memory to Mom Mom Steel.

Slacking

Hello all! 
I am back after a few week hiatus… And I am so glad to be posting this. 1) My wonderful doggy is healed up and his nail is growing back 2) I am planning big things! 

I have been slacking hardcore on anything to do with exercise. After a surprisingly bad results month at work I was a little demoralized and exhausted. I know my life is better with a routine but my mind refuses and pretty much rejectes the idea of scheduling. I think this stems from a strong desire to live free of the restrictions that a schedule brings. I love to be spontaneous and would have no problem driving anywhere at any moment on a crazy trip. However now that I am older and I have responsibilities I am finding  having structure is crucial in happiness. Now I have by no means mastered this… I still end up dead tired after a day of work and a workout forgetting to eat dinner. So how can we especially those like me (a rebel at heart), submit to a schedule and structure that leaves us time to spend with the ones we love and still accomplish all the things we need to get done throughout the week, oh yeah and find that time to train! 

              
So honestly I feel like I’m back at square one. Consistency is really significant in maintaining that feel good feeling when you are training regularly. I want to identify my hurdles, the things that hold me back, so when I run into them I can gage what I need to do to jump over them in time. 

  • Work
  • Eating
  • Sleep
  • Relationships 

Work is the biggest hurdle for my I work a 70+ hour work week and it’s physically and mentally taxing work. This is the main reason why I need a schedule. I’ve never had this kind of commitment before, I waitressed for ten years and had a ton of retail/odd jobs when I was in college; I am used to setting my own hours and tailoring them to my other priorities. Now that my career is such a large part of my day I have to find a way to balance it with my other three hurdles. How do I work, eat enough, sleep enough, and still have time to see my loved ones? 

Eating… Always a challenge for me usually I don’t eat all day and then binge eat at night. I have tried everythingggggg! The one thing that helped me is the 24 day challenge with advocare, it really regulated my body and eating habits. I plan to start another challenge the same time I start training. It will consist of vegetarian shakes, mostly carbs like rice and tortillas, and a lot lot lot of veggies and fruits! Hopefully I can get a eating routine down again I think this is absolutely key in regulating a persons mood. 

Sleep… I am always tired. I want to try and meditate for a week before bed to see if this helps a deeper sleep. I also need 6 hours of sleep a night so I can have some REM hours. In order to make this work I have to eat at a reasonable time! The goal for this is also to get up earlier so I have more time in the morning. Currently I literally have it timed to the minute of how long it takes to roll out of bed make a cup of coffee dress and run out the door! 

  
Relationships… The most important hurdle that is always the hardest to jump over. We often don’t make it a priority because we’re so busy with our careers, like when is the last time I had a date night with my love, I can’t even remember! Other people may have the opposite problem, FOMO people. Fear of missing out, those of us who need to be at every event and be out every night so we don’t miss anything (ps I used to be a spontaneous FOMO). Either way if your at either end of the spectrum you feel like I do that there is no balance in you life. It’s hard to prioritize it takes a certain amount of discipline and introspection to be able to define importance of different aspects of your life. I am hoping with a routine I will be able to define importance of these four hurdles and balance them a little more, leaving plenty of time for my passion: training for my events! 

So basically I am starting my training program next week, along with my advocare 24 day challenge to help regulate my eating, as well as my meditation experiment before bed. I will be chronically blogging how this transition unfolds. I have attempted scheduling numerous times in be past, and it never seems to work because I lose my planner or get distracted so this will be a really strict attempt to see if it makes a difference in my overall mood and training level. 

I can’t wait to post the schedule for you guys!!!! 

It’s good to be back 

-Steel 

Release 

From Scott Dunlap and Dean Karnazes and all the way back to Yiannis Kouros runners have been describing that uphoric release, most commonly know as a “runner’s high.” I feel like Yiannis my favorite ultra-runner perfectly explains this phenomenon in the opening to his documentary Forever Running. For him the “high” he gets from running is an outer body experience, in which he is watching himself from above and he is able to control his movements from there. Like so many others his “high” lasts for a few minutes but does not happen every run.
I experienced my first runner’s high when I was 12, and I remember ever moment of it. We had been playing soccer continuously all day long, it was fall and the leaves were still green but the air had that bitter chill to it. I remember the smell of the grass as I breathed deeply my chest and throat stinging from exhaustion. We were on our fourth game that day, I was a midfielder and I had run multiple miles during the course of the day. The sky had turned gray menacing to let a cold rain fall down on us. Before the icy rain fell we would manage to fit in our last game. The coaches wanted us to stay loose in between games so we had been running laps around the complex since our last game had ended.
We were making our way back around our last lap when it happened. My legs they were moving effortlessly they, they felt almost numb in a way. The sensation caught me off guard and I looked down to make sure I still had them. I felt a wave of energy come up from my feet and the next thing I knew I was starring down at myself. Above the complex, hovering and feeling only air. It didn’t feel like I would imagine flying to feel like, it was more stable like floating in water almost. I watched myself run but unlike Yiannis I had no control, I was just starting down over everyone. I remember never wanting the feeling to end, to stay above the ground and float forever. Then on the next step as my clear made contact with the dirt I was julted and launched downward. The next moment I was starring at my legs just as I had been before the experience.

I’ve experienced this feeling, this outer body sensation multiple times since then while running. There are many who have tried to explain it Kolata and Dietrich took their shots at it. So many convincing arguments have been raised with research to back them up. Frankly I don’t care what makes this happen or how the body or the mind does it. I am content with knowing that I can at any moment during a run I can have the ultimate release.

The topic of this blog was brought about because recently I have been having minor releases while swimming. I don’t know if it’s because I’m doing a new sport I’ve never done and my body hasn’t moved this way before or if it’s the long period of time that I have done no activity whatsoever. Whatever the reason I am not complaining. For 40 seconds during my swim workout I had a brilliant release where my entire body felt numb, as if it was controlling the movement itself. I felt happy, blissful even, and the best part was absolutely no pain. Breathing came easy and it felt as if I could swim forever, on and on.

Have you guys ever experienced “runner’s high”? And was it during running or another activity?