Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Injury that Broke My Heart!!

It's a bummer! what it all started as a sprint and olympic distance triathlon training, end up as training for a half iron distance. I never thought of trying such a distance, but with confidence gained over time and a bit of push from my coach and teammates, I decided to do it. I won't lie, but it took me over a month to decide to sign up for that race, but when I did it, I was excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time. I've been training very hard these past months. My biking has improved so much, that when I look back, I marvel myself with the saying that dedication and constancy are the key for success.
After my previous race, I was having trouble with my left foot, however it got better and I did not feel pain any more. I thought that everything was perfect, but I got to visit the doctor anyways just to be safe. And here comes the bad news. Two weeks prior my first 70.3 race, they found a stress fracture on my cuboid bone. I could no believe it and still can't. The doctor told me I could not do that race (and inside my mind I was thinking, he is crazy! I will do it, I don't feel pain). 
I did more research about it, and the more I read, the more I got scared of the long term effects if left unattended. I wish to continue training and competing, so I do not want to mess it up. Even though I though about doing the race, and in case of feeling pain during the run I will have to call it off, many insecurities came to my mind for a few days.
A safe state of mind place a huge role during training and race for me, and I think for everybody. Last week during training I was having second thoughts, but I just kept ignoring it. Finally, last Monday during my swim session I almost crashed on tears, and no because of foot pain, but because I knew inside myself, that something was not right. Somebody told me to listen to my body, so that was it, body and mind are not connected at this stage, so I don't think the risk is worth it. I want to be healthy so I can run for a long time (and running is my strength so I want it to stay that way).
With all the pain on my heart, I had to transfer the race for next year. It was a very hard day for me, I was very sad and thinking about all the work that I put on this, and the sacrifices that even my family make for me, so I can train all the time and that just broke me down. But thanks God, I have a marvelous husband who push me even when I am about to quit. He lift me up and even make plans for my strength training and next year races. Also, my teammates and coach were very supportive, so I feel less bad at the end. 
Right now, I am looking forward to recover my injury for 6 weeks and to train, to be back stronger than before, and as my brother told me: now you have a scheduled race for next year and you don't have to pay for it! hahaha!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Finishing a Race With Pain

The past September 26th, I completed my second International triathlon distance. The week before the race I had a problem with my left feet, so I gave it rest for the whole week prior the race.
When I started the race everything was perfect. I was very happy, because for the first time my mom could see me competing (even though I did not know how that was going to work, since she is very nervous and I knew she will yell something like: slow down or be careful, and making weird faces reflecting her concern). So before I started the race, I told her not to yell anything or to get scared hahaha.
The swim was very good, the water was calm and for the first time nobody hit me or I did not hit anybody. Bike was nice as well, it was windy but at least the road was flat. This time, I was able to pull a bit faster than usual (yes! my bike skills have improved a lot!). Then my favorite part, the run. This time it was not so favorite, since I left the transition area, I felt the pain that I had one week before again. The pain was constant, I was trying to think on other things and not to focus on that but at some point it was inevitable. But I didn't want to stop, so the power of the mind was stronger and I could run and cross the finish line. It is worth to say, that this "inconvenient" did not affect my pace at all, to my surprise.
When I crossed the finish line, I literally could not walk, I started limping. On every other races, after I finish, I may feel a bit tired, but this time was not the case. This time my left foot was on fired and that made me worried a lot.
One of my fears is getting injured. I always try to be careful with every movement I made so my training is not in jeopardy. Well, I had to face it and start recovering from this situation. I had two visits to the chiropractor, who told me my arch was twisted. After two sessions and almost three weeks of little or not run training I was able to get rid of that pain. But I still continue to worry about it, because I don't want that problem to come back. I have a love and hate relationship with the run, but at the end of the day, is my strength area of the three sports. So I don't want it to change.
I will keep continue recovering, taking care of my feet and doing what my coach tells me to do before my next big race!!
Here are some pictures of my International race, at Fort DeSoto, Florida:

Monday, September 14, 2015

When Quitting is Not an Option!

On July 11th, I participated on a  mile ocean swim at Jupiter Beach. For me, it was more kind of a practice to test my swim on open water. It was also a test of a long distance swim, since I never had done that much without stopping.
Before the event, everything was normal and keeping the same routine of training, I did not feel stressed or worried at all. When the day came and I arrived to the beach and saw the distance we had to swim, I started to worry hahaha!!. I was a bit nervous, but felt good about it. I started looking and thinking about the distance, and the more I looked, the more I got nervous.
 I stayed behind the group of swimmers, because it was too crowded and didn't want to get stuck on the middle of people. Once I got to the first buoy, I panicked and got really afraid!!! millions of thoughts went through my mind in one second; "I don't have to do this" I'm not ready to do this" "I might not finish, it's too long, I might drown". Then, I stood up and decided to go back shore. But I remembered: I am not a quitter! and my coach came to my mind. I imagined him asking me my why did I quit? and just the no explanation for that question made me say to myself: you have to do this!. So I deleted those feelings and started swimming. A few minutes later, I had a lifeguard swimming next to me, because I was going on the opposite direction to the buoy (I was not checking for the buoys at that moment).
After getting back on the right direction, all the time I was very focus and thinking that I was there to finish no matter what. My finish time was 35 minutes, no too bad, but not what I wanted to accomplish. Just the feeling that for a bit I was about to quit and that actually I did finish, made me feel like my own hero.
The lesson for this: There is always an option, for me it was not quitting, because I would not deny the possibility of accomplishment without trying. When you think you are about to quit, you better think why you should NOT quit?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

First Olympic Triathlon

After I completed my first Sprint distance, then the question arose: what is next?. Of course, it will be the following distance which is the Olympic. But let's no forget that I just wanted to do one sprint triathlon and that's it!, but as my coach told me from the begging: after you complete the first one, you get addicted!. And he was very right!. So I challenged myself to a longer distance triathlon.

Three weeks after my first triathlon, I was doing my first Olympic distance!! It took place on June 21st in Key Biscayne. I will be honest, for this race I was more nervous than for the first one. The fact that it was a longer distance made me worried. But, I was training hard and could notice improvements on my times, so in theory I was going to be fine. For this race, all the athletes doing the Olympic distance started the swim at the same time, so it was very difficult at the beginning of the swim with lots of people hitting me and no space to swim hahaha!.

 The first half of the swim (even though it was confusing) I did it on a very good time, but the second half took me more time so when I left the water, there were little people behind me (that made me a bit worried). As fast as I could, I run to the transition area to get ready for the bike (I am competitive and that day was my coach's birthday, so I wanted to surprised him with the first place). I wanted to push hard to make a good time on the bike. Surprisingly, I felt very good on the bike, I was passing guys riding better bikes than mine and not feeling tired.

I still had in my mind that I had to push hard but not too hard because "it's all about the run", but I trusted my gut with my legs and  I did as fast as I could. When I started the run I was with good energy, the first 3 miles were piece of cake, after the 4th mile I started feeling stomach cramps and a bit tired, but I was there to finish. I had to walk a few times to sip water (It was very hot) and a bit of Gatorade. My thoughts were always focus on crossing the finish line. So when I knew I had less than a mile to finish, I started running like Forrest Gump, because every second counts. When I crossed the finish line, I had to sit down because I was exhausted but super happy of my new accomplishment. 

I said that I wanted the first place and believe me, I worked for it on that race!! but I got the second place, which is not bad for my first time on this distance. I can't lie that it disappointed me a bit, because I missed the first place for 15 seconds. The good thing is that I now know my weaknesses and I can work on them to improve my time on the next race.

Monday, August 17, 2015

How did I lose all the weight?

After my first post, I had many people asking me but how did I lose weight? so I think I need to post something about the diet I implemented on me. First at all, I am not a nutritionist, the knowledge that I have acquire is through research, reading or following experts on Instagram. When I decided that I wanted to change my body, I was overeating everyday, in fact, I was eating processed food every single day. I started stopping those grab and go meals. I want to say, the secret for my diet was applying the rule: calories in, calories out, that was it!. This is a secret, that is no a secret at all. If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than the calories you eat. 

For example, for breakfast I would eat a cup of cereal with skim milk. For a mid-morning snack, I will eat a cereal bar of 100 calories or less. For lunch, a salad or soup. Then, a snack such as rice cakes or yogurt. For dinner, I would eat any protein with a side of salad. Also, I was drinking a lot of water everyday, approximately a gallon per day. Alcohol was also forbidden and I allowed myself to one cheat meal on the weekends, so I could satisfy my cravings.

At the beginning of the diet, the weight loss is quite fast, because we are losing a lot of water, so after 2-3 months in the process, I got stuck on my weight and that's when I figure it out that I had to change something. That something was my worst enemy: exercise!! (but now, it's my best friend!). Motivation is also very important, I always got inspired by watching the biggest loser and those peoples struggles through the season. Also, I would picture myself in my mind on how I wanted to look and that image will keep me going whenever I was about to fail. 
There is not miracle on the weight loss process, everybody can do it, if I did it you can do it too!!. The power is in our minds, if we can be strong enough to achieve our goals and say no to  temptations, we will succeed, believe me!!!

When I see on the TV advertisement about products for weight loss, I just think that other people take advantage of others desperation or naiveness. We all want a solution and it has to be easy. If you want to lose weight, let me tell you this: IT'S NOT EASY!! but yes, it can be done if you really want it. The big step is just start it without excuses.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me. I always love to talk about these topics.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

My First Triathlon

I wanted to do something different. I was kind of bored doing P90X, so I started following people on Instagram that were doing different sports. That's when I got the idea of triathlon. As I said on my first post, I was not very sporty person so why did I choose triathlon as my new challenge?. First, I love to be on the water (even though I was not a swimmer), second I always though biking was very fun (I was a terrible biker) and third, I hated running (I always thought running was very hard).

My odds with this sport were very low, but I was determined to give it a try. I started reading about everything involved with triathlon, and training was the first thing I had to set up if I wanted to finish the shortest distance. By the way, for those who are not familiar with this discipline, there are four different distances. The Sprint distance (1/2 mile swim, 10-13 miles bike, 3.1 miles run), the Olympic distance (1.5 K swim, 25 miles bike, 6.2 miles run), Half Ironman (1.2 miles swim, 56 miles bike, 13.1 miles run) and full Ironman (2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 miles run).
Looking around for triathlon clubs, I found RW Team with head coach Richard Wygand. I research him before, read his blog, and all his career as a triathlete. He is very impressive, very good athlete and inspired me. I contacted him and in matter of weeks I started my training. Oh! I said weeks, because triathlon is a very high gear sport. I had to buy my gear for swimming, biking and running.

The first weeks of training were very hard, first getting used to wake up at 5:20 am to go training, second dealing with all muscle pains, and third discovering my that my body needed more calories (I was hungry all the time). At the beginning, I was very slow at everything. I could not swim 50 yards without stopping, I could not bike over 12 mph and running, and oh running? it happened that I wasn't that bad at running, not for a beginner. Little by little I started making progress, I could do 300 yards without stopping, I could bike at 15 mph and I could run at 10 minute per mile. Seeing my body responding to the hard training made me very happy and motivated me to keep going.

The big day came in, ... my first race! It took place on May 30th, 2015. Very anxious, excited and happy, many emotions all in one body. My only purpose: finish without dying hahaha! I was mentally prepared to focus on finishing and not caring about other people passing me (I am very competitive and I like to win), so I had to prepare my mind for not worrying about it. The day before the race, I went to pick up my packet and when I saw some athletes (that looked very professional) I got intimidated by the fact that I was a newbie, but once again, I was really determined to no let down my purpose and my goal. The night before the race I slept like a baby, did not have any anxiety problem at all. So I was very rested by morning race. I was happy and nervous but with the support of my family and teammates I was sure nothing bad could happen. After leaving my bike and all gear at the transition area, I headed to the beach with the other athletes waiting for the call. Then the swim came, I was very relax, and focusing on keeping a decent pace that will not burn me down. My only thoughts during that moment was my stroke rhythm, is like your mind goes blank and just living that specific moment. Finished the swim among the first group of women, my husband told me he was surprised when he saw me getting out of the water LOL!. Well, even I was surprised!!!, Then came the bike,  and I did it pretty good, at average of 17 mph (better that on training) and finally the run, I forgot to say that running is my strength, so I killed it (for a newbie).
When I crossed the finish line, I was incredibly happy and proud of myself. My husband told me to check my group age position, I told him for what? I thought it took me a long time to finish, but guess what? I got third place for my age group!!!. It was like winning the lottery for me, I was soooo happy and immediately texted my coach with the news! Mission accomplished!

Here are some photos of my first race:

Monday, July 27, 2015

How It All Started

How It All Started?
I was never the fit type of girl, actually I did not know what fit meant until four years ago. I am going to be honest, I love to eat and who doesn't?, but I was not conscious about having a healthy nutrition. I always wanted to be skinny and complaint when I could not fit on the clothes I wanted to wear, but I didn't care about eating healthy, just wanted to satisfy my gut.
In January 2011 after I came back from my home-country vacations, I found myself weighing 155 lbs, I felt terrible and sad with myself. I still remember like it happened yesterday, one morning I looked myself at the mirror and took a look at my hole life thinking: is this really the body and mind
you want to have for the rest of your life? so with all the determination of the world I promised to myself that I will lose 10 lbs. With all the support of my boyfriend (currently my husband), I started dieting and started loosing weight. I was feeling great when people started noticing my change, so that initial goal of 10 lbs is up to date 42 lbs that I have lost. Of course, there were and still are ups and downs in this life style, but is all in our minds and the consistency we put on to reach our goals. I want to share some photos back on the days when I was unhealthy, overweight and unhappy with my body:

I forgot to say that I was very lazy, like super lazy!! I didn't like to exercise at all, that was too painful, boring and not for me. But on the process of my transformation came the plateau phase of all diets. I had to start some aerobic exercises from home in order to increase my weight lose. I did Tae bo, which are aerobics than combines martial arts ( I found videos on Youtube) and I also started walking in the afternoons with my hubby. Later, a friend of mine introduced me to Insanity, so I started the program to shape my body, it really helped me to tone and lose a bit more of weight. I also did P90X, that helped me a lot. I highly recommend it for people that can't go to the gym and want to learn exercises that challenge the body. This is how I look today: 

Currently, my new challenge is called triathlon. Yes, triathlon! a very hard and fun sport that combines swimming, biking and running. I am not doing it to loose weight, not at all! I am doing it because is fun, challenging and keeps me motivated. And this is where my blog name came in, when You are Fit, you can do Fun things!. Even if you aren't fit you can do fun stuff, but if you are fit is a plus that helps your body, mind and health. 
This is a journey that never stop, if you have the courage to start, have the courage to maintain it. Dedication and consistency are the mothers of successful people. I don't know if I'm ever going to be the best triathlete, but I will work for it and that's what counts!