Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Athletic goals, building strength and losing that winter weight

Well, it is January and officially 5 months since I had my tummy tuck surgery. I feel the need to get back to pre-surgery strength again. When I am not moving, I definitely feel like a 40 year old woman.

Yoga:

Last Sunday, I woke up with my body dreaming and begging for wheel pose (or Urdhva Dhanurasana for all you yogis who speak Sanskrit). You know, this one:


Weird because when I went to yoga class that morning (my 4th class since the surgery in August), the pose that we were building up to was - you guessed it - wheel.

Surprisingly, I did it without feeling any stretching or pain in my abdomen. I was worried because my body knows how to do it and has the strength to do it but my abdomen muscle and/or skin may not have been ready for it. Apparently, it was.

Yay!

That was a huge sigh of relief for me. I have been purposely holding back in my yoga and other athletic workouts due to fear. I love that my body told me when it was ready.

Swimming:

I had been feeling a very strange pulling sensation in my upper abdomen when I attempted swimming laps again. I am still not up to the same swimming distance that I was when I completed my last triathlon in early August. However, after our trip to Mexico and lots of snorkeling, the pain has subsided in my abdomen and I am slowly building up swimming endurance again. Now to make time to do it at least twice a week.

Running:

I have really not stopped running. My speed is about the same as it was pre-surgery, i.e. slow. I definitely need to get with someone who inspires me to run faster. I am also going to try running with an iPod.

I know. I'm sure many of you are saying, "What?! You've never run with an iPod?!"

And the answer would be 'no'.

I like hearing nature. I like knowing when there's a car coming. However, I do not like being bored out of my gourd on a treadmill and so, I will begin running with an iPod. Let me know if you have any ideas for a good playlist.

Cycling:

Believe it or not, I have been nervous to get outside on the bike again. I guess I'm worried about my endurance. I have my bike set up on the trainer in the house and I still get on it now and again.

Then I registered for another 2-day, 160 mile bike ride for charity.

So now its time to get my hoohah back into saddle shape again. That second day is always a doozie. Whew!

I'll be getting back on the bike trainer at least every other day for a while to build up to the charity event in May.


Triathlons, Duathlons, Runs and other events:
  • The plan is to get in a few more 5K runs, possibly pushing that into 10K runs this year.
  • One of my co-workers and I relayed in a duathlon last year and had a blast. We may do another one in April.
  • 160 mile bike ride for charity is in May. I will be participating in some long distance (at least 50 mile) training rides throughout April as well.
  • I may possibly head back down south to participate in the women's triathlon I did last year. It was so much fun. Besides, Gentleman Jack has never traveled to that part of Texas. 
  • I also may participate in a few small local indoor triathlons just for the fun of triathlon.

Winter weight and resting:

I am nervous and excited about athletic aspirations for 2010. I am definitely going easier on myself this year than in previous years. My goal to do a triathlon by age 40 was reached. Now its a matter of maintaining the strength and health in my muscles and bones.

I've noticed, as I'm sure everyone has, that the gyms are crowded and everyone is going on harsh diets to lose weight. I see nothing wrong with changing eating habits and building a new habit of healthy exercise. But I think that if we hit the ground running and are too hard on ourselves, we'll burn out.

This winter, I decided not to feel guilty about adding winter weight or resting my body. I think it is our body's natural response to put on weight in the winter due to the cold weather. I mean, haven't you seen those people that live in year round frigid conditions?! They have to be heavy to maintain warmth!

Maybe we need the comfort foods of winter and a little more weight. Why the hell not? But just as I prefer to go gentle on my body when building back my strength, I also go gentle when eating over the winter. I try not to binge, either way.

So, if I were to offer advice to all of those New Year's resolutioners, I'd say, 'don't rush to lose it'. As the weather warms, listen to what your body is craving. More than likely, your diet will subconsciously change from heavy creamy soups and comfort foods to salads and fresh fruits and vegetables. If you follow the natural order of foods in season and the lengthening of days for outdoor exercise, you will automatically lose the winter weight.

It starts with awareness.

Go gentle into 2010. Be kind to your body. Set boundaries around food. Set athletic goals. Your body will thank you for it.

13 comments:

  1. My back hurts just looking at wheel pose!

    Good luck with your training, I'm sure you'll meet your goals!

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  2. Great awareness and sage advice. I am now working out with the new Wii fitness program, it has a 30 day challenge which I am really enjoying.

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  3. I am over the impossible to maintain diets as a lifestyle. Now, I'm just trying to behave, make better choices. And take the stairs more. :)

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  4. I love your goals!! Amazing. I'd love to do the charity ride, that sounds awesome. I have never ridden that far before, though (though I love spinning...does that count? haha!), but it sounds like a great experience (from your blog post from last year!). Good for you - makes me want to up the ante on my own goals ;)

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  5. T, I totally know you will be back in your prime shape within no time. I love that you've embraced the tris and are enjoying them. Yay! You can do it!

    Ipod? I have some stuff for you, but it's a lot of cheesy 80's music. LOL! I'll burn you a CD of some. Oh and when I run outdoors, I only run with one earbud in and tuck the other down my sports bra so it won't bounce around. It's the best of both worlds - you can hear what's going on around you while still enjoying the tunes. It seems so simple I don't know why more people don't do that.

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  6. I just bought the PX90 system and I hear it is awesome. My girlfriend wants me to do a 1/2 marathon this summer and I am not really a runner, so I am starting now and it is not until June. I am excited to have a goal instead of just trying to loose weight through diet alone.

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  7. You go, girl!

    I am trying to keep on a more regular rutine and get myself in better shape too. 40 is coming soon!

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  8. sounds like you are right on it T! Good luck in making all your goals!

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  9. I am so in awe of your kind of athleticism. Can't even imagine it. Bravo!

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  10. Lots of good advice here and keep us posted on your progress.

    I say it the ground running and go for a burn out! :) ha, cuz the burn feels good.

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  11. Love all your goals and motivation! That wheel pose looks like it hurts. I'll stick with the Ksyrium wheels on my road bike!

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  12. How wonderful for you, T. It is so important to set realistic goals. I would love to get back into yoga but have issues with trust after a not-so-pleasant yogi experience a while back. However, I have come to really enjoy a good 10 mile run on the elliptical--now that I can run without the impact that kills my entire structure, I find myself more motivated to exercise and maintain.

    As you say, it is all a discipline, and part of that discipline is learning to listen to one's own body without being pressured by others' ways of doing things. Commitment is key.

    Excellent post, T. Be well.

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  13. I have started back at yoga and pilates and while I battled to walk this week from being so stiff - I am LOVING IT!!

    And often I will find myself "craving" a position/stretch from both classes.

    I definitely can feel the difference in my every day life when I dont attend my yoga classes!

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