Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!

Today was my first day of a double workout. All things considered, it wasn't all that bad. I started this morning with a core workout that lasted about 40 minutes and then biked tonight for 45 minutes. The bike was a bit more challenging because my coach gave me sets to do in the middle of the ride. They were hard! Exercise is a funny thing especially when you are training for a competitive sport. You work hard and just when things just start to feel sort of easy, your coach hands you something else that challenges you even more than before. I look back now the first ride I did and realise how easy it was, but I guess it's all relative. A easoned triathlete would look at what I am doing and think it was a warm-up. While I, on the other hand, get off the bike and have my quads quiver under the strain of just walking my tired ass to the shower. :)
After all of that, I guess I'll get to my point. After having two workouts today I found myself craving simple sugars-chocolate, ice cream, gummy bears Etc-even though I'd consumed pasta and meat sauce for supper and had some almonds and watered down Gatoraid after the bike ride. I tired to tell myself that ice cream is not a part of the necessary food groups, but my sugar hungry cells would not signalling my brain. So, finally I broke down and went on a hunt through my fridge to see what would satisfy my craving.
To my great excitement, there was one Drumstick left in the freezer. It sounds crazy now that I'm writing it down, but that first bite was heavenly. The mixing of the nuts and soft vanilla ice cream made every sweat droplet worth it. All I could think while I was eating it was that there were probably a lot of crap in that thing that my body did not need, but those thoughts were drowned out by the chorus my tongue and brain were singing. :)
I suppose the moral is, sometimes giving into those cravings is good for you. Our bodies crave things because we're missing something in my diet. Now that I've eaten the ice cream-chocolate chunks and waffle cone and all-I'm ready for bed and I feel completely content. :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

He's a Popular Guy

Today Glacier and I attended a friend's bridal shower. There were probably at least fifteen women and a few random little children crammed into a very small space. Glacier came with me of course and although I was a bit worried at first, I learned very quickly that he's a super star.
When I first got Glacier, his distraction work was horrible. He was really good at Leader Dog, but after I got him home I think he realised that he weighed almost as much as I do and began sniffing/eating whatever he wanted. This was something I had to work very hard with him and I am happy to say that after almost two years, he's getting it.
There was food everywhere and some of the little kids tried to sneak him food whenever their moms weren't looking. I mean, you can't blame them-they were about a year and a half and were allowed to feed their pet dog. Glacier was definitely interested, but stayed lying quietly at my feet; only moving his ears every once in a while to listen closer. He'd also wiggle his eyebrows as he looked closer at the offered deliciousness, but he never moved a muscle. I was a very pround mom.
Even after most of the food had been put away and I took his harness off, he remained lying quietly at my feet. He would adjust once in a while, but as soon as he stood up to move I'd just gently remind him that he should be laying down and he'd resume his down position. There were evena few times when his leash slipped out from beaneath my bum and he stayed put. It was just nice to se him come so far.
He was also really good with the kids. One little girl kept crawling to him-she was only 8 months old-and would try petting him, which consisted of her clumsily whacking him lightly. She also crawled over his paws a few times, but Mr. G never budged. He did wash my friend's little brother's face, but the kid is almost seven and lives on a farm with cows, horses, 8 dogs and some chickens and donkeys. I'm not worried about him. :)
This outing made more confident in his ability to ignore people when I start working. As a massage therapist, Glacier will be exposed to new people almost on a daily basis and be tempted to greet the clients he knows. It's good to know he can stay focused on his job.
I remember Jetta at his age and there is no way she would have done as well as Glacier did. Jetta was my wild child. lol That said, I was at a different stage in my life and Jetta fit in then and Glacier fits now. It's funny how that works.
Either way, I'm just really proud of him.
PS: my triathlon training is coming along. Today I did a 30 minute walk/run; going 3 minutes running and 2 minutes walking. It was hard after yesterday's hour bike ride, but I at least finished. The running is definitely going to be the weak portion of the race for me. That just means it has more room for improvement. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Legs Of...Lead?

Today is the sixth straight day of training. The work load isn't exactly difficult, but my fitness base has definitely disappeared from when I was swimming competitively. My lower abs hurt, my left shoulder is so tight I can barely move it and my quads feel like they won't support me anymore. That said, I'm loving it. There are fixes for all of these squeaky body parts-stretches, eating high calorie/nutrient filled foods and just plain perseverance.
Today was a 25 minute run/walk workout just trying to build up that base fitness I am lacking. It didn't fel so good when I was running, but when I finished I had a great sense of accomplishment. I'm also feeling good because it was a rare occasion hwen swim coaches could get six consequitive days of training out of me. I would just get bored and not go. This triathlon stuff keeps my mind occupied and my mind challenged. I also think I'm better at this because I'm an older athlete now.
I swam competitively from the age of 12 and on the international scene since I was 17. The two years I took off between swimming and embarking on this adventure did me some good. I feel like I'm doing this for myself instead of coaches or teammates. I enjoy it a lot better and I kind of feel like this is a second chance for me.
Don't get me wrong; I was a good swimmer. I won medals, held records and travelled everywhere with my sport, but I always felt like I could do better. I could never get ahead and really go after what I wanted. Part of it was lack of motivation on my part, part of it was life circumstances that made training a lot harder for me. I'm definitely not deminishing my experiences at three Paralympics and various international competitions, but now I feel like they were just building blocks for this. And, that is exciting.
I should probably get my tired but satisfied bum to bed. Tomorrow is another day and I don't know if I have a workout or not. :) So, the more rest I get, the better.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And She's Off!

Just a quick update: Glacier is fine. After a few very tense days, his stomach returned back to normal and he is as happy as ever. We've also added a new member to our family. Her name is Aria and she's itty bitty, but I'll fill you in on her later.
It was just over a month ago that I decided that I was going to complete a triathlon. It was a thought I had been throwing around ever since I retired from swimming, but the massage program was way too intense for me to be doing anything other than study.So now that I was done with school and I have to wait on my practising license anyway, I figured now was as good of a time as any. So I began looking for triathlon coaches. I emailed a few and only got a response back from one. I figured that it was better to do something like this under the guidance of someone else. I know about elite sport, but I was a sprinter and swimming is only one discipline-a triathlon has three. I had no idea where to start training. There is also a lot of information available on the internet of course, but I wasn't sure what was actually legitimate or not.
After the coch and I emailed back and forth a few times, we established that he would be able to coach me. He lives about an hour and a half away from me, but we agreed to correspond every day via email and the phone. As needed I've also emailed him photosand videos of various things so that I can get some of his feedback. He also gives me direction on nutrition. I am pretty good with what foods are good for what and what foods are not good for anything, but a triathlon requires a very high number of calories and I wanted to ensure I was feeding my body the best fuel possible. Anyway, a long story short-sort of-I have a coach and today will be my tenth day of training. We've definitely run into sme glitches along the way that I hope will be rectified.
For example, I need a guide to actually compete in races and as of right now, I am guideless. I do all of my workouts on my own inside on a treadmill at a friend's house and on a road bike that we mounted on a "trainer." I thought I could build up my fitness on my own while I was in the market for a guide. For those of you who don't know, a guide would be teathered to me during the swim and run portions of the race and they would be in front of me piloting a tandem bike for the cycling portion. The guide needs to be in as good of shape or better than me so that they can keep up and also be able to focus on keeping us safe. I don't really know where to start looking for a guide. I'm currently trying to sign up for a YMCA membership and thought that maybe I could put up a notice on a bulletin board there or something. This leads me to my next problem.
This issue isn't as big as the no guide thing because I can pretty much fix this myself: it will just take a bit of time. Getting to the pool is proving to be a problem. I live in kind of a rural area and finding a local pool is difficult. Not to mention, pools are expensive. I'm trying to get a membership at the YMCA in order to have access to both the pool and the gym. I am worried once I get to the pool, my workouts will be disturbed by other swimmersand I will disturb their workouts. I'll be swimming on my own and won't know if someone is waiting on the wall resting. I may accidentally run them over, or just never fully swim into the wall so that I don't run anyone over. This all means that I won't get as much out of my practice as I need to. I also don't want to hurt anyone or annoy anyone for that matter. I was thinking I could ask the manager of the YMCA if I could use half of a lane to myself. That way, I can use the lane rope as a landmark (or water mark) and trail along it. That way, I can stay out of the other swimmers' practices.
The gym membership would be also helpful for the days when I have to do both running and biking on the same day to practice transitions. Monday of this week, I had to do a practice where I biked and then ran for ten minutes afterwards. It wasn't worth the hastle of getting my friend to pick me up to take me back to his place to use the treadmill, so I tried running on the spot. Do you have any idea how hard it is to run in one spot and actually try to get some kind of aerobic fitness from it? Plus, I kept running away from the spot I was on. :) If I were a sighted person, I could have done my bike workout and went outside and done the tenn minutes around the neighbour hood, but alas, Glacier doesn't guide while running. :)
Despite some of my dilemmas, I am thoroughly enjoying my new adventure. It's nice to workout and not have to do the same thing every day. One day I may run, another I may bike and then another I'll do both or a core workout. Once I get a better fitness base, I will be doing two workouts a day-at least I think that is what this is all leading up to.