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When you love to eat, you've got to move.

Posts Tagged ‘triathlon’

Exercise & diet – a powerful combination

Posted by pjcloud9 on August 17, 2009

Seriously, she is running for cake.  What could be better?

Seriously, she is running for cake. What could be better?

Dear Time Magazine:

RE:  August 17, 2009 cover story “The Myth Abouth Exercise”

Back in the spring of 2005, my dream was to lose 100 lbs and wear “normal size pants” that I could buy in a store instead of online, while still eating cake and other assorted pastries, of course – as any normal American would strive for.  It took me one year to do it, but I was successful.  And three and a half years later, I have kept it off. At first I just started walking, eating more vegetables and less sugary snacks. Then four months later I started doing the elliptical trainer instead of walking. Then five months after that I started running instead the elliptical. Then a few weeks later I signed up for a triathlon with five months to train – and that was that! Since the summer of 2006, I have finished fifteen triathlons and several other running and duathlon races. I even got third place in my age group/category in the Life Time Fitness Minneapolis Triathlon in 2008 & 2009!

I think is extremely dangerous for a publication of your stature and influence to take a melange of interesting, thought-provoking studies and twist them into an article that purports that exercise is not where it is at to lose weight.  I would contend that if any of us tried hard enough, we could find some study anywhere supporting our point of view, no matter how outlandish.  I am living proof that exercise and diet are a powerful combination.

I am no scholarly expert, but it seems pretty common sense exercising is not something people should be discouraged to do.  It builds physical strength and endurance.  It builds mental toughness.  It enhances cognition.  I am 37 years old and I am in the best shape of my life because I have committed to eating well and exercising regularly.  I accomplished my weight loss while working at a Fortune 100 company’s corporate offices with a forty plus hour per week demanding job, two young children at home, and living the commuter life in the suburbs.  I contend I could not have been so successful at work and at home were it not for the exercise portion of the equation.  Take a look for some studies that support that.

Sincerely,

Pamela

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This is how I roll…

Posted by pjcloud9 on July 25, 2009

Yes, this is for real.

Yes, this is for real.

A receipt from Hy-Vee grocery store from Friday night before the Sunday morning June 28, 2009 Hy-Vee Triathlon.

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Don’t Be Intimidated

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 11, 2009

Don’t be intimidated by people you perceive as athletics, athletic, or “in shape”.  They are no different than you.  They have simply prioritized and/or made a commitment to their fitness endeavors.  And if they have been at it awhile, your perception of them may be that they are advanced or partaking in workouts that you could never do.  Think again.  You can do exactly the same thing if that is what you want.  Just do it your own way.  I am guessing you probably have before at some time in your life, if not in fitness than in your education or in music or some other passion of yours.

When it comes to being active, only a small percentage of people have been consistent their entire lives.  Based on what life dishes out, often times people move in and out of a routine.  School changes, work changes, family changes, habits change, environments and access change.  All of these things make life exciting, but they also challenge your ability to be consistent in many things, a big one being physical fitness.  All of us are typically struggling to find the time and/or motivation to be active.  I know I do!  For me, triathlon has been the answer the past few years.

However, I go back and forth about how detailed I should write about triathlon on this blog.  When you hear the word “triathlon”, it probably invokes a specific image for you.  And I am thinking it may have sort of a negative connotation, in that it sounds really hard, thus the reasons I don’t want to write too much about triathon are:

  • Triathlon (swim/bike/run) is a daunting or intimidating exercise for most people
  • The perception could be that I am bragging or think I am somehow better than others because I do triathlon
  • Because of these two previous points, readers may tune out and think “this is not the blog for me”

The reasons I DO want to write about triathlon here are:

  • Triathlon is the personal motivator for me, it is a big part of my life.  I want to help you find the same thing, anything – that activity that catches your attention and keeps you engaged.  When I am in training for triathlon, I get to eat what I want – which I love.  I also have to stay on my training regimen so I don’t look stupid huffing & puffing on the race course – embarrassing!
  • If I can do a triathlon, seriously anyone can.  In the end, it is mental over physical in a tri.  Yes, you have to train your body appropriately to the distance you are looking at, but your mind takes you over the finish line.  This applies to a lot of things in life!
  • I love the community of athletes that participate.  If you ever get a chance to be a spectator at a triathlon, it is exhilarating!  You have weekend warriors, newbies, and at many big races – professionals – all together on the same course on the same day having a shared experience.  I cannot tell you how many strangers, race participants and spectators, have given me words of encouragement during a race that literally kept me from stopping.  I think of these people that I do not know all the time when I am working out on my own.

So there you have it, a little glimpse into why I do triathlon and a little encouragement to find what works for you.  I in no way think I am better than anyone else or have some need to intimidate others with what I do.  For me, triathlon is what works right now.  And I do not kid myself to think it will work forever.  It motivates me and gives me a quality of life I love.  I hope that you can find the same thing, and I am committed to helping you in that quest!

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‘Tis the Season: Part 2

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 9, 2009

‘Tis the season of triathlon training.  I am now 19 days out from the first test of my current endurance: the Hy-Vee Triathlon, Sunday, June 28, West Des Moines, IA.

I have participated and finished the Hy-Vee tri the last two years.  The problem with the race is this is the third year of it and the third version of the course.  This makes it hard to gauge personal progress year over year and is annoying because of the adjustments that have to be made.

The first year it was in downtown Des Moines, swim in Gray’s Lake, with a finish line at the Iowa State Capitol.  Pretty flat, except the bike hill on Grand Ave. and the run up to the capitol at the end.  Year two, 2008, there was flooding in Iowa and Gray’s Lake was not in condition to swim in (read: bacteria infested), so they moved the venue to West Des Moines.  For several days last year, we thought it would be a “dry tri” or duathlon, with no swim leg.  We would instead run – bike – run.  But because the race was an Olympic qualifying event, not for me of course, race organizers were very eager to get the swim in.  They decided on Raccoon River Park with a finish line at Valley Freshman High School, thus two transition areas – very cumbersome, and a hilly run in comparison to the year prior.  Plus mental gymnastics in the 10 days prior trying to track all the changes and keep training.

This year, we are back at Raccoon River Park for the swim, but the bike and run courses have changed again.  We will be starting and finishing at the park, which is great, one transition area.  The issue with this third course for the Hy-Vee Tri?  This year we are running up a huge hill we biked up last year and running up a hill that we finished on last year.  UGH!

How to deal?  Train on hills and mentally prep.  I ran the actual big hill – dubbed “the Neil hill” by my family – in WDM this weekend to get the mental picture going on it.  Back at home, I have decided to train hills in Bloomington in the Hyland Park/Mt. Normandale Lake area.  For the next 19 days, the running portion of my training will happen there.  I am pretty comfortable with this plan.  The missing piece here in Minnesota is heat.  It is inevitable that by the last weekend in June in Des Moines it will be in the high 80s/low 90s.  If anyone can please order some heat for the Twin Cities (or a cool weekend in June for WDM), please call that favor in.

The good news in all of this is the Life Time Triathlon at Lake Nokomis on July 11 will be a piece of cake with all of its glorious flatness.  And a trip to The Cheesecake Factory will follow, of course!

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