In the last seven years (since my daughter was born), my weight has mostly been creeping up. I've had some brief losses, but I was way too content to sit and watch tv, eat whatever struck me as sounding good and just ignore the ever increasing numbers on the scale. I'd freak out a little every time my weight hit a new decade and work for a week or two to try to get it back down, but then give up when life got in the way. I'd bounce around those ten pounds for a while and then freak out again when I crossed another threshold. But 2011 was different. After a long New Year's Eve night of drinking and eating and having a great time with friends (plus 3 months of unemployment and stress trying to start a new business), I woke up 1/1/11 at 213 lbs. A new record high. Over 20 lbs what my 6'3" husband weighed. And the first words out of my mouth for the new year were "Holy Shit!"
But this time I wasn't going to give up so soon. I dug in and went on a soda hiatus for two months, ate out very little and really tried to reign in my poor eating habits. Being mid-winter, I didn't have a major plan for working out. I did manage a few workouts with a couple friends. We did a Just Dance video game and a pilates dvd that kicked my butt. But I felt my body remembering some of that coordination I had when I was a dancer. I really enjoyed it. I dropped the first seven pounds in a couple weeks, but then it came off super slow.
My sister told me she was doing the Pewaukee, WI triathlon with her husband and his family. I don't really remember if she hinted, suggested or if it just struck me - but my new goal was to join her and do it as well. I even signed my kids up for the kids' race the day before. I paid the money and had a goal to shoot for. Except that it was still winter and I just wasn't motivated to go out in the cold and work on it. So April came and the weather warmed up and we were spending more time with the kids outdoors and my husband turns to me one night and says "You'd better call your sister and tell her there is no way you are doing the triathlon as you haven't trained and you will drown, or not be able to ride home in the car the next day being so sore of behind or you will just keel over from the exertion."
Did I mention I tend to be one of those types that likes to prove someone wrong? My first triathlon became all about proving to my husband (and myself) that I could do this. The next night, I went out on a 5 mile bike ride. I had to walk my bike up a hill, but I completed it and felt good about this start of my training. I found an indoor pool that I could buy a punch pass for and managed to swim the total distance (450 yards - though I stopped every 25 to rest). I went out and picked up a couple books on training the next day. Eric Harr's book was the easiest to read and follow the plan. It really focused on just finishing my first race and that was good for me. I did the 8 week program over 10 weeks (repeating the first two acclimation weeks). The plan was for folks listed as "Just a slice above a couch potato". That was me!
But I trained from April through early July and then "tapered" by basically doing very little the last week (one OWS in my sis's lake on Fri, easy/flat/short bike ride with sis on a trail near her house she wanted to show me on Sat) and on Sunday morning, about 7:15 AM (wave #22) I was in the water doing my first tri (See race report). I finished. I was so proud of that and I think my husband and kids were too. Then I got home, rested for a week, did a 15 mile bike ride at 2 AM the next weekend (see Tour of JC post), rested for a week and did another tri (See SMSG post). Crazy! I joined a multisport club and started thinking about what was next. I think the idea of having a race out there you are working towards appeals to my Type A, goal setting personality. I've become addicted to reading tri blogs and look forward to the day where I can be someone that other athletes turn to for motivation, inspiration and advice. Someday!
Oh, and having spent a lot of time in this backstory talking about my weight, I was pretty frustrated that my weight really didn't come down much while training for Pewaukee. I was down maybe 10 lbs or so. But I continue to work on finding healthier ways to eat (still haven't kicked all bad habits). And I am trying to get at least one workout of each sport in every week (though I am still a "walker" and not even really a "jogger" - probably the next thing to really work on). I recently crossed back into the 180's and am slowly working my way down. At least triathlon gives me a more focused exercise routine.
End of Backstory.