Friday, January 21, 2011

The Scale

There is a great hot tub in the women's locker room at my health club.

I L O V E it.

I love having a good soak in very hot, deep water. I love the bubbles. I love the whole experience.

I even have a favorite sitting spot in the hot tub: the bottom left-hand corner closest to the showers. I like it because the water jets are positioned perfectly to hit all my achy spots. I can just lean back and let the bubbles and heat take my cares away.

This sitting spot is also positioned so I can see all the other women come and go through the locker room as they make their way to the sauna, the steam room and the change area.

Smack dab in the middle of all that action is THE SCALE.

As much as I love the hot tub, I hate the scale.

It has been my own personal nemesis for pretty much my whole life.

I was a fat kid; a fat teenager; a fat adult.

As a teen and young adult, I certainly had bouts of thinness. But, pretty much, I was fat.

Having an eating disorder for many, many years didn't help my relationship with food or the scale either.

I avoided the scale like the plague for years on end. If I had to get weighed, I'd turn my back to the numbers, so I wouldn't have to see the damage.

When I was on a diet, I was more open to the scale, because the number was generally going down. But still and all, the scale was something to be feared and avoided.

Anyway, from my vantage point in the hot tub, I watch, with continual amazement a vast number of women that just hop on that hulking piece of metal with nary a thought.

Yep, they just trot on over to the scale, get on it, look at the number , step off it and seem to go on about doing what every they had planned to do for the rest of the day.

Some women get on naked; many get on with their clothes on. A BUNCH get on with their shoes on. Doesn't matter if they are big women or little women or old women or young women. It's just "hop, read and move on".

Now, before you all think I'm a total scale voyeur, let me just say that the numbers are so small on the digital read out, I can't tell what their weight actually is. The number is really not the point.

The point is that I'm just so amazed at how little power the scale has over them BUT still seems to have over me.

It's ridiculous. Totally, incredibly ridiculous.

I'm sure that some of the women who confidently step on the scale dread the results as much as I do. I'm willing to bet that for some of those women , their own personal beratement tapes start going off in their head the second they get off of that scale.

I'm currently struggling with keeping a commitment to weigh myself once a week. My weight is reasonably under control (meaning, I weigh more now than I did right before Ironman last summer, but that is totally understandable. I weigh a lot less than I did a year ago and have seemed to avoid a gigantic winter weight gain).

So the number isn't as bad as I fear it is going to be, yet getting on the scale is really rough.

I need to keep up that commitment though, so the number doesn't creep up.

In reality, my goal is to really lean up between now and June so I can haul less ballast up the hills of Madison in September....

That is going to require a commitment to eating less and hopping on that box more.

I'm just not going to do it with my shoes on.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow... Snow.... and more Snow

Okay. I understand that it is January. I get that January = winter.

I also am fully aware that winter, in the upper midwest, = cold, dark and white fluffy stuff.

But, really. THIS much snow?

It all started in early December. Hubby and I went to Florida, where he got to golf in one more tournament for the year and I was hoping to enjoy a little warm weather, swim outside and eat an orange or two.

We left on a Thursday-- nothing on the weather map about a big, bad snow storm blowing in to Minneapolis until I got up on Friday. Then, the BIG BLIZZARD of 2010 was all over every channel.

Hubby golfed and I was riveted to the WeatherChannel, watching updates from Minneapolis that came ever 15 minutes....

Why wasn't I using those 15 minute intervals to swim in an outdoor pool or run in the sun? Because it was friggin' cold in Florida! Yes, they were in the middle of a cold snap. With wind chills and all things frosty.

So instead of warming my bones, I piled on tee shirts, watched the WeatherChannel and shopped at an outlet mall that was literally across the street from our hotel.

(ONLY good thing out of that experience was finding a Lululemon Athletica OUTLET store. Yep. I was walking through the mall, turned a corner and there it was: a big, beautiful store, bathed in a wash of dreamy light. I swear I heard the angels singing...)

Anyway. Hubby finished his tournament, we flew home and had to face the BIG DIG out of the BIG BLIZZARD of 2010, which dumped over 17" of snow over the city.

I will say, that well before the BIG BLIZZARD of 2010, my mother-in-law decided that this was the year that she and my father-in-law would buy Hubby and me a snow blower.

Now, we already had a little snow blower that worked perfectly well if the accumulated snow was less than 6 inches in height. AND we are perfectly capable of buying our own snow blower, had we wanted one. So, initially, I thought it was kind of a silly gift.

Nonetheless, Hubby and I looked at snow blowers before we left for Florida, but couldn't decide on which one to buy before we left for our trip. (We were soooo silly!).

Before we even got on the flight in Florida to come back to Nanook -- I mean, Minneapolis -- we called HomeDepot to have them hold one for us. Our plan was to pick it up from the store after we landed in Anchorage -- I mean, Minneapolis.

The store clerk at HomeDepot said. "You want to buy one NOW? After the BIG BLIZZARD of 2010? We are totally sold out and won't be restocked for at least a week".


By the time we got home, the snow plows had gone down our street. Twice.

So we had to shovel a huge frozen mountain of snow and ice out of the driveway. I kid you not, that mound of snow from the street to the sidewalk was 4 1/2 feet high and 3 or 4 feet wide.

I do not like shoveling. I had to do it when I was a kid -- and we lived in a corner house, so had to do sidewalks in front and on the side of the house. Plus the driveway. I should say the three car garage driveway...

When Hubby and I moved in to our house, I told him that I would happily mow any day, any time. I would rake leaves, any day, any time. I was not, however, going to shovel our stupid, forever-long driveway.

Most years, I've been able to live up to my word. I just couldn't let Hubby do all the work that night and we ended up spending over 2 hours digging out. BLECH.

So, naturally, I thought: "well, at least we got this over with early this year. We can't get much more than this....".

I hear the angels laughing now.

We've had more snow this winter than we have in a long, long time. Fact is, it is the third snowiest winter in Minneapolis' history.

Again, yippee.

Driving is a pain. Parking is a pain. Motivating myself to get out to run or to the gym (or even to get up for work) is a pain.

Shoveling? Is a ROYAL pain.

I have to admit that I DO think that snow is beautiful. (As long as I don't have to drive in it or shovel it). It does make the scenery look more peaceful and serene.

It also coaxes me to nappy-nap land pretty easily, which is really not want I want/need now. It is so much cozier to come home, slip on some fleece pjs, stretch out on the couch and snooze than it is to say, slip on eight layers of clothes and ice cleats to go out for a run.

Or to get up HOURS before the sun even gets up to go to the gym for strength training or to get in a freezing cold pool.

Yet, most of the time I do it. Why? Because Ironman Wisconsin is a mere 8 months away.

So it is snowing again tonight. We are supposed to get up to another 5 inches of fluffy white flakes. The good news is that Hubby is happily blowing out the driveway from hell with the snow blower from heaven. I only had to shovel the sidewalk (front of the house ONLY) and the walk up to the house. So...not so bad.

The question looming is whether I'll be able to face the snow and roads tomorrow morning (that is SATURDAY morning) at 6:30 am to get to a 4-hour spin class, or if I'll turn over, sleep in till 10:00 or so and then just spin on the trainer I have set up on our second floor.....hmmmmmm.

What ever the answer is for tomorrow, this girl, who loves the summer, open widows, warm breezes and open water swims, thinks that this winter has really been enough.

How many days till spring?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Race Schedule

Happy New Year to All!

Hubby and I had a fantastic whirlwind New Year's Eve. I'll post more details and pics soon.

Today is the day that I committed to my 2011 race I know it today.

Only about 5.5 weeks until the first event of the year: Tri U Mah Indoor Tri at the University of Minnesota on February 6th. Tri U Mah was my intro to triathlon, seven years ago. The format is a little different: it consists of a 30 minute swim in a wonderful pool (University of Minnesota's Aquatic Center), then 30 minutes on a stationary bike; then 30 minutes of treadmill running. Winners are determined by the total distance covered.

As usual, a bunch of my tri and running friends also signed up this year: Nat, Marcia, Gary, Cheryl and I will all be in the pool for the 9:10 am heat.

I love this event because it is very well run, a lot of fun and means that summer season is on its way!

New for me this year will be the Minneapolis Marathon (June 5th). I asked my Coach, JonnyJ, if I should consider an early marathon to help me prep for IM WI. (I had such a big breakdown during the IM marathon last year, I thought just getting through the distance and practicing a nutrition plan PRIOR to this years Ironman would be a good idea.). I suggested to JonnyJ that I do Fargo Marathon in May.

JonnyJ agreed that a marathon was a good idea but immediately nixed Fargo. "Too flat". He suggested Minneapolis because of the hills. Yippee.

So, I signed up for Minneapolis full and Fargo 1/2. Fargo will be just a training run for me.

Also new will be the YWCA Women's Triathlon on August 14th. I've heard great things about this event and wanted to do one shorter tri before IM WI. The event venue is very close to my house and is only a sprint distance (500 yd swim; 15 mile bike; 2.5 mile run). By then, I should be well trained, used to my new tri bike and will hopefully have a very good RACE. (Yes, I plan to actually RACE this event as opposed to my usual "participate". JonnyJ will be happy to hear that....)

There are a couple other events not listed yet: I'd like to do the Lake Harriet Open Water and Great Prairie swim events again (dates not posted yet); I'm putting my hat in the ring for New York Marathon (November) along with some other friends. If I get in great. If not, this will be the third year I've been declined, so it is an automatic "in" for 2012; I'll do some additional bike events, but none of the dates have been posted yet.

As busy as my schedule seems, it feels a little "light" to me. I have no duathons planned; a super busy June and then very little for the rest of the summer. JonnyJ wants me to concentrate more on training before IM WI than on racing, so I'm sure even though I won't be doing a lot of events, I'll still be busy!