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: