Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last, but not Least - Tri Waco Race Report

I signed up in January for Tri Waco - the Olympic Distance - to be held June 24, 2011.  I knew it would be hot, but reasoned that it wouldn't be "August Hot."  Also, I knew I needed to focus on a race in the future to get myself motivated to get back in gear after my surgery.

It seemed like such a great idea 6 months before the event.

The days ticked away on the calendar, and my training never really kicked up to the level it should have for an Olympic Distance Triathlon (1500m swim, 40K bike, 10K run).  It's not fair to say I didn't train at all; I did train consistently. BUT, I didn't train nearly as much as I could/should have.  I didn't train for the swim at all.  I did a few bike rides, but not consistently, and the longest was 20 miles.  I did a few spin classes.  I did a few run/walk workouts, but the longest was only 4 miles.  I, of course, consistently did my Curves strength training workouts 3x/week.  I didn't do any bricks. I also ate way too much.  I used Kev's working in Alaska, family vacation, business trips, and business visitors as excuses to eat way too much and train way too little.

So, when the weekend of the race arrived, I was about 15 pounds heavier than I realistically should have been, 40 pounds heavier than I wanted to be, and a lot less prepared than I had hoped to be when I signed up in January.  Besides that, it's been "August hot" in Central Texas since before Memorial Day. 

I was determined to do the Olympic anyway.  I didn't switch to the Sprint distance.  I didn't decide to just skip it.  My awesome friends Meg & Sasha were doing the race with me.  I'm entirely too stubborn to give up.  Regardless of my level of training, I'm slow.  I'm slow at the swim.  I'm slow on the bike.  I'm slow on the run.  I'm good with that.  I just keep moving forward.

Packet pick-up day came.  I was NERVOUS.  I had never done and Olympic Distance before, and I knew I was heavier than I should be and drastically under-trained.  I just kept telling myself that I could still finish even if I was super slow and dead last.  It would be hard.  It would be hot.  I would be exhausted.  I would still finish.

I got my packet and met up with my friends.  Kev and Sam came with me to Waco (Jacob was with his cousin at Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend).  After getting all settled at the hotel, Kev and I walked across the street to the suspension bridge to check out the swim course.  They had a swim clinic that afternoon, and the race director said they measured the water temp at 89 degrees.  UGH!  Even the water would be hot.  Nothing like swimming the better part of a mile in a bathtub with 600 of your closest friends.  We walked onto the suspension bridge and looked at the buoys for the swim course.  YIKES!  I almost puked over the side of the bridge. 1500m seemed like a LONG way - especially since I hadn't been in the pool AT ALL.

We went to dinner with friends, then headed back to the hotel.  Kev went out with some friends, and I went back to the room to get all my race stuff ready for the next day.  I sent several text messages to several friends expressing my concern for my lack of preparedness for the race the next day.  Thank God for all of them.  The encouraging responses kept me from leaving Waco in the middle of the night and heading home without bothering with the whole triathlon thing.

I got back to the room and started getting ready.  Then it hit me.  CRAP!  I didn't get my sports bra when I was packing and headed downstairs to get it.  CRAP CRAP CRAP!  Of all the things to forget!  My sports bra is a steel-belted work of engineering and is required equipment for this Athena to do any kind of working out.  They don't sell said sports bra in many stores - and certainly not at any stores in Waco.  So, I headed to Academy at 9:15PM Saturday night before the race to get a sports bra that would just have to do.  Great. I got one.  It wasn't as effective as my normal one, but it would have to do.

This just keeps getting better.  I'm nervous.  I'm fat.  I'm ill-prepared.  I have a substitute sports bra.  Great.

Despite all that, I slept pretty well.  I woke up the next morning, and made it down to the transition area before it got too crowded - and before getting down the hotel elevator with my bike was too challenging.

I was nervous.  I was nervous about the swim, the bike, and especially the run.  I was really nervous about finishing before the cutoff.  I wasn't nervous about being last - I knew I would be, and I was totally OK with it.  I was OK with being last, so long as I could actually cross the finish line by the time cutoff.

After setting up, the pre-race meeting, and the Sprint start (not sure why they started the Sprint before the Olympic, but they did), it was time to get this thing started.  I got in the water and started swimming.

I was slow but steady.  I didn't panic - even when all the crazy fast people were literally swimming on top of me.  They were blowing past me and kicking me, but I just kept swimming at my slow steady pace.  It seemed like a fairly long way, but I finished the swim without any trouble and actually wasn't last out of the water. 

On to the bike.  The bike course was flat, and the road surface was nice and smooth.  I wasn't fast, but I still wasn't last, and I wasn't feeling too terrible - despite my lack of training and the ridiculous heat.  However, I was keenly aware that the worst part remained.  I SUCK at the run.  I suck when I train.  I suck on race day.  I even suck when I just do a 5K, and that's all I do.  I'm slow.  I "run" 10 steps and think I'm gonna die.  It doesn't seem to matter how much I do or don't train, how much I do or don't eat, or how much I weigh.  I just flat suck at running.  But, I still do it.

I got off the bike, put on my running shoes, and put on some sunscreen.  Did I mention it was HOT?  I saw some new friends I had met at dinner (who were already done with the Sprint), and I saw Kev in transition.  He actually got up to see me off at the swim and was there for both T1 and T2.  The encouragement was helpful.  I told him he didn't have to get up super early and hang out in the ridiculous heat, but he did anyway.  It was greatly appreciated. 

I headed off on the run.  Yikes.  It was HOT.  I was tired.  I tried to hydrate at all the water stops.  I tried to settle into a 2-1 pace, but I just couldn't make my fat, not-trained-enough butt run much at all.  I finally decided to just make it too the finish, even if I walked the whole thing.  I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  The first half of the 10K course was relatively shaded, but it was HILLY, I mean crazy hilly.  It was just plain ridiculous.  About Mile 2, I met Sasha who was heading back in and at about Mile 4.  She looked great, stopped to give me a hug and some encouragement, and warned me that 4 massive hills awaited me on the course.  UGH!  It was hilly, but at least pretty shaded.  I ran a little, walked most of it, and kept moving forward.  I finally got to the turn-around and got to go down all those nutty hills.  Then it was off to the last half of the course that was pretty much the 5K course from the sprint.  No more hills.  Sadly, also, no more shade.  By this point, it was getting late in the morning.  The sun was blazing.  It was crazy hot.  One by one, the people who were behind me from the swim and the bike passed me on the run.  It was official.  I was last.

The race director passed me on his Gator about 20 times.  They started packing up the water stations and course markers as I trudged along.  Despite all this, and the knowledge that I was last, I was truly OK with it.  I was hot and tired and ready to be done, but I was proud to be making it, regardless of being last.

I finally made it to the path back up to the suspension bridge.  Kev & Sasha were on the bridge yelling at me.  It was awesome.  I made it up to the bridge and forced myself to "run" the entire length of the bridge to the finish line.  The paramedics were still there, and they gave me my Finisher's Medal and some much-appreciated water.  No other volunteers were there.  The awards had already been passed out.  Mine was the only bike still in transition.  There were no more free snacks.  There was no race announcer calling my name as I crossed the finish line.  I didn't care.  I finished an Olympic Triathlon.  I used to weigh 320 pounds.  I might have been last, but I still did it.  I'm a bad ass.

There might have been no volunteers or race announcer there when I finished, but Kevin was. Sasha was.  My sister was.  They cheered and took pictures and helped me get all my stuff inside to the AIR CONDITIONED hotel.  It was awesome.  I'm a bad ass.

Meg did great at the Sprint distance.  Sasha kicked ass at the Olympic distance.  Both of them have also lost a ton of weight.  We are all bad asses.

After it was all over, I felt like dog shit.  I had a raging headache and was just nauseous from the heat.  It took me several hours to finally start feeling normal again.  It took many liters of water, Extra Strength Tylenol, and a Frappucino from Starbucks before I finally felt like a human.  It was about 6 hours before I felt OK, could eat, or could sleep.

Even before I started feeling better, I vowed to lose more weight, train a lot more, and do this race again next year.  I will be thinner, in better shape, and faster. 

I've now registered for three more Sprint Triathlons this year:  Houston 8/14, Rockwall 8/28, & Austin 10/2.  I'm going to keep doing 5Ks and 10Ks and bike rides.  I'm going to keep training.  I'll be back in Waco next July.  I've also got my eye on a half marathon in Austin at the end of January.

If I can do this, anyone can.  Make a goal.  Pick an event.  Get moving.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waco coming up - for now a shameless plug to try to win a trip to San Antonio

I should be blogging about my training, but I haven't.  My first Olympic triathlon is in Waco this Sunday.  I'm terrified.  I have not trained enough.  I have eaten way too much.  I am fatter than I should be, and not nearly as fit as I should be.  All that, AND it will probably be 173 degress Sunday.  I'm worried about finishing at all, finishing before the time cutoff, not having to take an ambulance to the ER because of not being ready + heat exhaustion.  Wish me luck.  I NEED IT.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to win a trip to San Antonio.  12 different travel blog sites are each giving away a trip to SA this summer.  Each site has a different way to enter/win.  Mommy Musings gives bonus entries for blogging babout the contest, so I am now shamelessly blogging so I can get my bonus entries!


I also hope I survive Sunday so I can enjoy a trip to San Antonio if I do win...  ;-)


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DANSKIN 2011 - Train Easy, Race Hard

First, the "Train Easy, Race Hard" title of this post is totally stolen from one of my triathlon heroes - Jayne Williams, THE Slow, Fat Triathlete.  If you haven't bought both her books, stop reading RIGHT NOW, and come back after you've ordered them.

Back?  Good.  You'll laugh out loud AND get inspired reading those books. TRUST ME!  OK, now back to the blog post.

So, I haven't been so great with the blogging lately.  I'm still stuck.  I'm not officially plateaued.  The definition of a plateau is eating as you should and working out as you should and not losing weight.  I'm not gaining weight - really.  I'm basically yo-yoing the same 10 - 15 pounds and have been basically since October of last year.  I'll eat right for a while then eat crap for a while I lose a few pounds, then gain them back.  The good news is that I'm essentially maintaining and have finally come to the conclusion that I CAN maintain a healthy weight. I'm no longer haunted by the thought in the back of my mind that I will eventually gain all the weight back that I have worked so hard to lose.  Also, more good news - even though the eating part has been kind of off and on, I'm pretty much on top of the working out.

Since my last post I ran/walked a 5K with my entire family and my super fast nephew (who won his age group), did 2 bike rides (27 miles and 30 miles) with my husband, finished the Skeese Greets Women's Triathlon on Mother's Day, and this past Sunday, finished the Danskin Women's Triathlon for the 2nd time.

I have consistently done my Curves workouts three times a week.  I've also been working out with a personal trainer at 24-Hour Fitness once a week.  In between, I've done a few run workouts and managed a few weekend bike rides.  I done almost no swim workouts.  To say I've been "training" for a triathlon is a stretch.  I'm definitely consistently working out, but my diet habits, food choices, and current workout regimen does not really qualify as triathlon training.

Despite my lack of training and the continued absence of my groove, I signed up for the Danskin.  I have a special place in my heart for that race as it was my first ever Triathlon in 2008.  It's just a sprint tri - 800m swim, 12 mile bike, 5K run, but the course is HARD, especially for a sprint tri. 

So, the week before the race, it occurred to me that the Danskin was a week away and I really hadn't trained.  Oh my.  But, I'm not going to sign up then miss the race unless I have some crazy injury or illness.  I just decided that I would treat the race as a "long workout."  I won't beat my time from 2008, I won't run the whole 5K, I won't break any speed records, but I will finish.  It's just training for my first Olympic Distance Triathlon in Waco July 24.

I headed to packet pickup on Saturday with my good friend Meg.  I got my packet, got a sweet new Danskin tri suit, checked out all the freebies, and visited with Alison - the Austin Heart Zones coach.  I contemplated signing up for a 6-week Olympic Triathlon crash course. Maybe if I really kick it in gear after the Danskin, I won't totally kill myself in Waco next month. I love me some Sally Edwards, so of course I'll go with her training group if I'm going to train with a real group rather than just winging it on my own - and so far winging it on my own isn't going so well.  After careful consideration, I have decided not to sign up.  With Kev in Alaska through the end of the month, a family vacation, and a work trip scheduled, I can't really make it to most of the group workouts.  So, I'm going to have to figure out how to do this on my own.

Anyway, after packet pickup, I was pretty pumped and feeling excited about the race despite my lack of preparation.  I got all my gear ready and got a little sleep then got up before the ass-crack of dawn to head out to the race site.

Kevin is in Alaska for work all month, and all my triathlon friends had other things going on, so I was flying solo for this one.  I've done enough triathlons, that I know what's up, and I'm OK not having a cheering section.  Besides, it's pretty boring for spectators, and it was HOT on Sunday.  So, I was OK with being alone.  I was just doing a long workout with 1600 of my closest friends.  :-)

At this point, I should give a shout out to my Mother-in-Law for staying at my house this weekend and watching my kids so I could do this while Kev is out of town.

The parking situation was a little wonky and caused a delay of 15 minutes before the start.  I hit the water just before 8am and started going.  Unlike my first Danskin experience, I wasn't nervous at all.  I had totally embraced the "this is a training session" attitude and set out with my only goal being to cross the finish line.  I had not done any swim training AT ALL.  None.  Really.  Thankfully, I just swam.  I didn't panic.  I didn't get overcome by nerves.  I just swam.  I didn't swim fast at all, and given my total lack of training, how could I expect otherwise.

The water was warm.  The water was dirty and yucky as expected.  There was the usual kicking and being kicked.  Since I hadn't really trained and hadn't really even looked at the course from the start line, I wasn't exactly sure where I was on the course or what the buoy looked like at the turn to the finish (the swim course is kind of a triangle).  Twice I passed a buoy thinking I was approaching the turn to the finish.  Twice I realized when I got to the buoy that it wasn't time to turn yet.  Oops.  Regardless, I kept swimming.  When I made it to the end, I wouldn't consider myself completely "un-tired" and raring to go on the bike, but I was also not completely exhausted.  So, off to transition.

On the way from the swim exit to the transition area, I met a woman who was lamenting that she had done so much better on the swim than she expected that her family wasn't around yet to cheer for her.  She didn't have a cell phone in transition, so I let her use mine to call her family.  She was beaming because she had "rocked the swim" on her first triathlon.  It was nice to see her so proud of herself.  Unfortunately, I didn't run into her again, so I'm not sure how the bike and the run went for her.  I hope she was as elated at the finish line as she was in T1.

The bike.  I've ridden the Danskin bike course many times.  It's a tough course, but it's familiar.  The bike was relatively uneventful - except for the little incident on one of the easier hills when my chain came off - or at least I thought it did.  I shifted gears then suddenly my pedals wouldn't move at all.  I got off the bike expecting to have to get all greasy to get the chain back on the bike, but it seemed to work fine after a few turns of the pedals.  Not sure what happened, but it didn't slow me down too much.  I even managed to get going again with no problem despite being on the middle of a hill. 

T2.  Uneventful.  Time for the worst part.  The run.

I decided to walk a little while to get my heart rate down and get my legs back then I would settled in to "2-1's," running two minutes then walking one minute.  I walked about the first 5 minutes then I headed off with my planned 2-1 routine.  Twice I switched to 2-2 when my heart rate was still off the chart at the end of the 1-minute walk.  The worst part about 2-1's is that the 2-minute runs always seem infinitely longer than the 1-minute walks.  As I neared the end of the run course, I knew a nasty hill was coming up.  I decided to walk the entire hill then run the rest of the way to the finish.

Then I crossed the finish line.  I got my finishers medal, an ice cold bottle of water, and an ice cold towel from the volunteers - God bless the volunteers.  It was HOT.  I was done.  Yea!

I didn't have friends and family there.  I've done this before.  Sure, I felt great to finish and just relieved to be done, but it wasn't quite as big a deal as previous triathlons, especially not my very first one.

Over the course of swimming, biking and running basically by myself, I did a lot of thinking about my goals, my being stuck for months, my fitness, etc.  The Danskin was both good and bad in that regard.  It was bad in that I had not trained, was not prepared, and it was a slap in the face to remind me that I really need to get back in gear not only with training, but also with eating.

However, it was also good.  I desperately needed that slap in the face, and I think it's already helped me get back on the right track.  I'm probably still not eating perfectly, but I am thinking about it more.  I'm also already working harder on the training.

Also, I officially achieved a major long-term  fitness goal.  I stated about a year ago that I wanted to achieve a baseline of fitness such that I could do a sprint triathlon whenever I wanted without having to specifically train for it.  I can do that.  I just did that.  I finished a sprint triathlon, and I did not specifically train for it at all.  I did workout consistently, and I expect to ALWAYS do that.  I didn't run the whole 5K.  I wasn't fast by any measure.  But, I did it.  My baseline of fitness is such that I can complete a sprint triathlon without specifically training for it.  YEA ME! 

So, I guess I've officially achieved a point where I can train easy, race hard.  I'm good with that.  I am going to train harder for my upcoming events, especially the Olympic in Waco, but I have a level of confidence in my general fitness I didn't have before the Danskin on Sunday.

Now, I just have to get my diet and training groove back on track 100%. 

Stay tuned for training updates and a Waco race report.

Oh, and no pictures this time - I was by myself, so the Danskin race has no picture documentation.... 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Have you seen my Groove?

So, I'm back at it - sort of.  I had my crazy surgery.  My plumbing is mostly working properly.  I spent the better part of 2 months "on the bench."  I officially got released by the doc.  Now I just feel like I've lost my groove.

I ate too much over the Holidays and gained back a little of the weight I lost during 2010.  Then I had surgery.  I had delusions of losing all that Holiday weight by the time I had my post-op appointment.  I didn't do that.  BUT, the good news is that I didn't GAIN any weight while I was recovering and spending a couple of months feeling sorry for myself.

Now it's been a full month since my post-op appointment and I STILL haven't lost all that Holiday weight.  I have lost some.  I haven't gained more.  I'm back to working out pretty much every day.  Still, I'm just not feeling it.

My head isn't in the game.  I'm doing OK with the food.  I stay mostly "in the box" most of the time, but the weekends are hard.  I make excuses to add veggies to the box or to eat a salad or something when we eat out.  I haven't been able to suck it up and get 100% in the box with no "real" food.  I know that if I do that, I can break through this plateau.

I stay sort of in the box.  I work out every day.  The scale just kind of hovers.  I debate with myself.  I give myself pep talks.  I still just kinda half ass do this.  The scale still hovers.

I'm stuck.  I don't know what to do.  No one else can motivate me.  No one else can inspire me.  This is up to me.  I have to suck it up and drop these last 50ish pounds.  I know if I would just get 100% in the box for several months I could do it.  But I've done the HMR thing for so long, the thought makes me a little sick.  I'm tired of HMR.  Also, a little voice in my head tells me I'll have to learn how to maintain a healthy weight and eat real food. 

Lately I find myself in this constant internal debate about the speed and "ease" of HMR vs. the logic of eating meal replacements and the fatigue of continuing to do the program.

I have loads of friends doing Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem or the latest low carb (Atkins in a different package) diet.  I have loads of friends doing well and loads of friends struggling.  I know that there is an answer.  I know that everyone has an individual answer.  While WW works for some, it doesn't work for others.  I know HMR works for me.  I guess I'm typing all this in hopes of motivating and inspiring myself.

I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up 50 pounds lighter.  While I feel loads better than I did a year ago, I don't feel as good as I did 4 or 5 months ago.  I was hoping I'd bounce back with the workouts by now.  But, after my little sabbatical, I've been back a month and still feel like I'm miles away from where I was pre-surgery.

I feel tired and fat and sluggish and unmotivated.  UGH!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Catching Up!

Wow!  It's been a while since I blogged.  Sorry for that.  Quite a lot has happened in the last few months.

In November I ran my very first 10K with my awesome nephew Kendall.  I survived.  I ran every step.  It was not easy.  Kendall won his age group.  He was a sweetheart and walked back to find me after he finished and helped me run in the last half a mile or so. 

I'm a long way from being fast.  I'd like to do a half marathon soon, but I'm a long way from that too.  Even so, I'll keep plugging along.

I ran yet another 5K with Kendall at his high school later in November.  He won his age group again.  Show off.  I ran it all.  And, I PR'd.  It was awesome.  5K's are getting easier.  I like that.  Sadly, I'm not sure that is going to remain the case.

Then, on Thanksgiving Day, I decided at the last minute to get up super early, drive to Ft Worth (from Mineral Wells where we were spending Turkey Day with Kev's family), and run in the Ft Worth Turkey Trot.  There was a 5K or a 10K.  I decided to go for it and run the 10K.  I also decided that I wanted to try to improve my time from my first 10K in November.  I had a race plan this time.  I ran 5 minutes and walked 1 minute for the whole race.  I tried to concentrate on running faster during my 5-minute runs and recover during the 1-minute walks.  I did improve my time a little, but not a lot.  I really need to just work and work and work on running.  I'm not good at it.  I'm not fast.  But, I will keep running.

Then the Holidays were in full swing.  Thanksgiving, my birthday, tons of Holiday Parties, Christmas, New Year, etc.  I pretty much went off the reservation with my eating from November - January.  I did maintain my Curves workouts 3x a week, but didn't do much else in the way of working out.  I gained a little, but not a ton, and I got pretty much back on track at the beginning of January.

Right now I am benched for at least 6 weeks and it SUCKS!  Here's where the TMI begins, so if you don't want to know TMI about my girly insides, stop reading now.

Thanks to vaginally delivering 2 precious boys, my pelvic floor muscles are shot.  My insides were literally falling out.  The official diagnosis is pelvic organ prolapse.  Basically my uterus, my bladder and my rectum were falling out.  This was exacerbated by my triathlon, 5K and 10K escapades.  My urethra was also "sagging."  All this didn't necessarily hurt, but it was quite uncomfortable, and I basically peed on myself all the time.  Not fun.  I told you it was TMI.  You don't have to still be reading...  ;-)

I discussed various options with my regular OB/GYN doctor.  I lost weight and exercised hoping that would lessen the prolapse.  It didn't.  I went to 4 months of pelvic physical therapy and did everything as instructed.  After 4 months, I had made ZERO progress.  In fact, it just kept getting worse and worse.  So after losing the weight and doing the physical therapy, I went back to the doctor.  She referred me to a specialist - a Uro-gynecologist - an MD who specializes in both urology and gynecology. 

After a thorough exam, a second opinion, and lots of research, I decided to have surgery to correct my pelvic organ prolapse.

My surgery was originally scheduled for 12/7/10, but my doctor got sick and had to have surgery herself.  I was given the choice to change doctors and have my surgery in January, or wait until February for my original doctor to do the surgery.  I changed doctors.

So, I spent our 15th wedding anniversary (1/13/11) having a hysterectomy + uterosacral ligament cuff suspension + anterior and posterior repairs + TVT midurethral sling + cystourethroscopy.  FUN! 

I can't work out for at least 6 weeks.  And that's just the half of it.  The recovery has been WAY more than I bargained for.  Again, TMI on the way.  You can stop reading at any time.

I'm now 10 days post-op and still basically popping pain pills as soon as the clock says I can have another one.  My bladder didn't function at all until yesterday.  It still only sort of functions.  I have to use a catheter to completely empty it.  I'm not complaining though.  That it's able to funciton on it's own at all is huge progress.  I wanted to call local news outlets to report to everyone that I peed on my own yesterday afternoon.  If I didn't hurt so bad, I would have jumped for joy.

My bowels didn't function until Monday after surgery Thursday.  Then they shut down again for several days.  They're sort of working now, but only because of the moutains of meds I'm using to make them function.

Let me tell you - don't EVER take for granted the ability to perform basic bodily functions.  It has been very very painful, and literally a pain in the ASS!  ;-)

Anyway, I'm mostly on the mend, and despite the fact that this is way worse than I ever imagined, I am getting better every day.  I'm also counting on being a lot more comfortable when I get back to triathlons, runs and bike rides in the spring.

I signed up for my first Olympic Triathlon July 25 in Waco.  If you're so inclined, feel free to come participate with me or just cheer me on.  The more the merrier.  I haven't picked the race yet, but I'm also hoping to do a half marathon and a 100-mile bike ride at some point in 2011. 

Right now, during my post-op recovery, my eating is somewhere in between doing great and off the reservation.  I'm not being as diligent as I should be, but I'm not eating everything in sight like I'd sometimes like to.  I'm walking a little every day - trying to gradually build up.  I'm just trying to not gain, be reasonable, and wait until I have the doctor's go-ahead to resume workout craziness.  I'm starting to go a little stir crazy.  It's really tempting to lie on the couch all day, feel sorry for myself, and use all this as an excuse to eat mountains of crap.  I'm working really hard at resisting that urge.  I take it one minute at a time.  Sometimes I'm better at resisting than others.

I'll try to get back on the blogging band wagon and keep everyone posted regarding my post-op recovery, getting back to working out, and training for the various events that I decide to do in 2011.  I figure I need to lose at least 40 - 60 more pounds, and I really hope to do that this year by continuing to train for triathlons, runs, and bike rides.

Please join me on this journey.  Send me messages.  Share your successes and challenges.  Focus on making healthy food choices.  Find a workout that you love and get obssessive about it. I want to hear your story.  Inspire me.

Hopefully I'm officially back to blogging.  Stay tuned.  :-)