So happy to see 2018 go!

It has been about 6 months since I last wrote on my blog. I just put it out of my mind and kept moving on to other things.

I have gained too much weight, between 30 to 40 lbs that needs to come off. I started a new job back in October and after a rocky 1.5 months I am finally settling in and finding my own groove. I am now the Bariatric Nurse for St. Alexius New Start. 

I am now able to help others on their own surgical weight loss journey. When the patient’s find out that I also have had weight loss surgery, they become excited and more relaxed.

I was to start on my Master’s Degree, but that has been placed on hold and I may not obtain the degree. My new job does not require it and in truth, I just don’t have the time.

The biggest news is that I have signed up for my first 70.3 with Metro Tri Club.

 

Steelhead

 

I have hired a coach, Chris Rankin with Vitality Mulitsport. I can’t wait to get started. I have so much to do before then. I still need to rejoin the YMCA, will get a discount after the first of the year through work and looking at a power meter.  I would love to get the Garmin Vector 3 .    (Not sponsored by Garmin). Just don’t have the money to get them.

Hoping not to neglect writing about my new journey. 2019 is looking like it is going to be epic. Many firsts for me and for Joshua.  My first 70.3, I turn 50 in December and age up.

Advertisements

The hard truth

This is going to be very hard for me to write today, but I need to get it out there.

There are many different types of addictions out in this world. We all know someone who has been effected by addictions whether it be from alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, shopping and so many others. One that you don’t hear much about is someone’s addition to food.

I really never thought that I would be addicted to food until now. I am soon to be 3 years out from my weight loss surgery. Something that I have wanted done for over 10 years before I had it done. Way before I even thought about having Joshua.
I finally had it done on July 13, 2015.

I lost my weight, I was very focused and couldn’t wait to reach my goal weight. I hit that goal of 170 lbs at 9 months, but I wanted to lose more. By December I got down to 148 lbs. Everyone continued to tell me that I had lost too much weight. Even the ones that were the closest to me. At one point, something in my head flipped and I started eating what ever I wanted. I didn’t watch my food intake, started eating peanut M&M’s. This continued to be my go to food when I was stressed and on some days it was the only thing that I would eat all day.

Things got worse with going back to school. The stress of working full time from 0400 to 1230 each day, helping Joshua with his school work and then doing my own homework took it’s tole on me. Then add on training for my races. I was not cooking dinner for not only myself but for Joshua as well. I would fix Joshua something but then I would not eat it.

I had gotten into a very bad cycle of self hate and self destruction. I know that I need to do something in both my head and my heart, but the self destruction part continues to run to the M&Ms each and every time I start to feel any stress.

I know that I can overcome this as I have overcome so many other things in my life. I need a new goal in my life. I will be starting my Master’s Degree in August, but I also need a physical goal. Something that I can push myself in making better choices in how I deal with stress and help trigger better weight loss. I just don’t feel comfortable at my current weight.
All of my beautiful clothes that I have don’t fit the right way, my denim skirts are too tight.

I am the only one that can make this change. Getting over the mental issues is the biggest and first thing that needs to happen. I don’t usually ask for prayers for myself, please send a few up for not only myself but for Joshua. He needs his mommy to be so much better.

Race report x2

I have not written in a very long time. Life has been so busy with work,school, life and training. There were times I didn’t know if I was coming or going and what needed to be done next. Thank goodness for my Coach Lesley Kruzel and Tri Equal #equallyinspiring program. I would not have been able to do it all without them.

When we started in March, I was in school full time finishing my degree in Nursing, working full time and being mom, but not in that particular order. Some days I was lacking in one area if not all in all three. There were several really dark days when I was ready to give it all up. I felt like I was not giving my best to anyone or anything. To compensate I started eating and eating. I ended up gaining weight and had some major set backs on my weight loss. Stress can be a real killer at times. One that I am trying to overcome even as I type this.

Lets start to talk about the good things that happened. With the wonderful training plans from Coach Lesley, I was able to push myself and to slow myself down. I learned that I could swim more than 25 yards without stopping. I overcame several mental blocks. I did find out that I can ride in aero on Blessing and not fall off the bike. I do need much more time in the saddle and not feel like I am a very drunk rider. I also learned that slowing down my run does help to push for longer distances.

As I was getting ready for my first race on April 29, 2018, I was also finishing up my last class in Nursing school. So between starting work at 4AM everyday, I was working on my final paper/power point presentation, trying to remember to feed Joshua dinner or to get him to his appointments and homework done. I was also getting in what training that I could. Some days it just did not happen and I felt like I was letting my Coach down. We talked and she reinforced me that I was not and get in what I could when I could.

Tri Try Illinois, April 29, 2018 at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

This is a wonderful first race of the year. They have 2 different races the super sprint and the long sprint. This year I pushed myself and signed up for the long sprint. I was ready to increase my distance so I can start getting ready for my future Ironman race.

The distance for this race was a 300 yard pool swim, 20 mile bike and 4 mile run.

I did OK on the swim, but the bike was another story….. HOLY WIND Batman.. we were riding on a county rode that went through the country and had farm land on both sides. The wind would get you in just about any direction. I could not keep in aero due to the wind and the hills were crazy hard. I am still learning my gearing and on one hill I was in the wrong one and it was 10 times harder getting up.

31531662_10213854513189738_2688535405719977984_n

Going out on the bike.

The run was good, I kept at my 30 second run and 30 second walk intervals and a couple of times I had to walk a little longer, but got it done.

I was very proud of my finish. I challenged myself and had fun.

TryTri

Thank you # owenotter for always running with Aunt Jen

After this race it was the final push for graduation. I had applied for the Master’s Degree program at SIUE, but got word that I did not get in. So, I applied to McKendree Univeristy and had an phone interview on the morning of my graduation. At the end of the interview I had a chance to ask questions. My only question was, when will I hear if I have been accepted to the program. The Director of the program said “let me be the first one to tell you welcome to the program”. I am so excited that on my graduation day, I was accepted to the next stage of my education.

Graduation May 4, 2018

 

Now it is time to push for my A race… The Olympic distance race at St. Louis Triathlon.

My training was once again hit and miss due to weather or just being tired. I tried my hardest to keep it up, but I would have one great day training and was completely exhausted the next two day. I got maybe 2 to 3 swim days in, but most importantly I was able to get in 2 open water swims in before race day.  I had gotten a huge kiss from my wetsuit on the neck and now know that Body Glide is your friend.

As it got closer to race day, the more I was questioning myself IF I could really do this.  I continued to eat everything in sight due to the stress that I put myself under. I wanted to challenge myself, but could I really do it?

May 19, 2018

Packet pick up…. Went over to Earth City, MO to the old Ram’s practice facility that is now owned by Lou Fuze and had been changed over to a soccer facility. It was great to see the complex.

The pre race talk was given by race director Richard Adams (what a funny and wonderful person) MSE Racing. If you can every meet Rich, you will feel like you have known him forever. Just full of smiles and hugs. His love for triathlons shines through in this race. It helps that he is also an athlete.

Left the facility and headed to bike drop off. The one wonderful thing about this race is they offer a secured overnight drop off. One less thing to worry about on race morning.

May 20, 2018

Race morning!

I wanted to get up and moving early. Set my alarm that I would  normally set for a work morning. I still woke up later than I wanted to but got there in plenty of time. What wasn’t so nice was Mother Nature. She decided that she wanted the St. Louis area to have some rain. It rained turning the night and it caused me to have get to sleep as early as I wanted to. Then on the 40 minute drive to the race, it continued to rain off and on.

I get to the site and get things out of the van and it starts to rain again. It continued to rain off and on for the next 2 hours. Everything continue to get wet and not much could be done.

We then get the word that the race will be delayed due to the weather. We were getting lighting and thunder. We were to start the first wave at 0645 and that was pushed to 0700. Then Rich came over the loud speaker to say that the race will NOT be cancelled but we will be pushing the start time back to 0715 if needed. IF it had to be done then the Olympic distance bike would be cut down to only one loop due to safety and time constraints. I know that he had a very hard decision to make.

0715 the red caps are in the water

0719 the yellow caps are in the water

0723 the pink caps are in the water….. Oh! Sh$& that is me… off I go. It is a beach start and I had to wade self into the lake and start swimming.

1..2..3.. breathe…. 1..2..3…breathe….. I continue trying to keep that going through my head as I took off swimming.. try to stay somewhere on course. What is that the first orange bouy… OK, I can do this.. my arms are getting heavy… stop look up to see where I was at… I am not even close to the orange triangle bouy (the sprint turn). Just keep swimming.

Trying to channel Dory…. just keep swimming… you can do this…. I hate open water swim… How can you ever do an Ironman if you can’t handle an small open water swim.

Look it is a yellow bouy… keep going you are getting closer to the turn around.

Am I there yet?? Sh*&^… not yet.. keep going. I would get hit by swimmers passing me in different color caps, but I kept going and continue to tell myself…. Your race your pace.

LOOK it is the YELLOW triangle and time to turn and go back to the exit.

Only 2 more bouys to go…….

I finished the swim in 46:11.   I had estimated 60 minutes.

Transition one   5:55

I had to put on socks for my cycling shoes. Off I went to get on to the bike. From where I was to bike exit is a very long walk/run as you had to leave the transition and could not mount until you were on the road.  Time to ride the one loop course.

It went really well, I kept getting a side stitch on my right side at times. I tried to stay in aero as much as I could. Shoulders would get very tired.

Bike finish in 49:51 for 12 miles

Transition 2 4:47

On to the RUN…..

Coach had me running a 30:30 intervals for the run. I was able to keep that going though out the whole run. I had to keep a count in my head to make sure I kept a good pace.

For my 30 seconds of run I would count to 80 – 85. That would be how many single foot strikes that I could do in 30 seconds. I continued to do this for the whole run.

It was great to see fellow team mates from Metro Tri Club that would yell out  encouragements for me to keep going. I would not have made it near the end without it.

I ended up finishing the 10 K in 1:27:58

Total time…. 3:14:39:07

All in all it was a great first time Olympic race for me. I was able to get it done and there were many times that I questioned myself if I wanted to continue training to reach my goal of becoming an Ironman. More of that at a later date.

If you made it this far, you deserve a medal of your own.

 

Thank you all for your love and support in my crazy life and journey.

Who am I kidding…..

I am sitting here at 10:05 PM and I can’t sleep. I should have been asleep 2 hours ago. Getting up every morning at 3:30 to start work at 4:00 AM is hard.

When I can’t sleep on nights like this, I start to question every decision have ever made. Tonight is one of those nights.

  1. Why am I over-eating, binge eating on Peanut M&Ms and Cheeze its???
  2. Why do I want to race? Is it really for me or am I doing it for something else or someone else?
  3. Why can’t I get over this and not stress?
  4. Do I really want to race?
  5. Am I wasting my Coaches time and energy?
  6. What if I let so many people down? Will they still like me?
  7. Why can’t you lose the weight that you gained?
  8. You are just going to gain it all back.
  9. You are a failure.
  10. You will never finish anything that you start.
  11. You can’t do it, you will fail.
  12. You can’t make good grades, work full time, train 6 to 8 hours a week and take care of Joshua at the same time.
  13. Work is killing you, causing your headaches and nothing is helping.
  14. Would Joshua be better off if I didn’t do so much?
  15. I hate looking at my body with all of the loose skin?
  16. I hate that I still see the 321 lb person that I was in July 2015.
  17. I hate my body and what it is doing to me. I need answers and no one knows what is going on.

Maybe I can get some sleep now that I have gotten this all out. There are more things inside of me, but I have to really dig deep to get them.

What am I scared of, right this minute in time?

I am scared of failing those around me that believe in me more than I believe in myself.  I need to find the joy in my life that I had in racing. I love race day, but it is the days leading up to it that I am not finding the joy.

I am not much of a social creature, but it would be wonderful to find a training partner that I can really count on getting me out for my workouts and keeping me motivated in reaching my goal. When goals are set too high, you start to fail before really starting. I have set my goal way too high. Yes, I would love to have the experience to race in an Ironman event but not sure if I ever will at this point. I don’t want to miss out on life.

How do you find balance?  If you know of a trick in finding that balance please let me know as I am swaying from side to side and falling. Never had very good balance.

20180306_153728.jpg

 

I need to find this silly, happy girl once again before it’s too late.

Time to get to work

I have had a big awaking during the past few weeks. I allowed my weight to creep up to 170 lbs. This was my original goal weight when I set out on my weight loss journey. I had gotten all the way down to 143-148. Then something switched in my head after hearing concerns from trusted friends that I needed to gain some weight. That little talk flipped the switch in my head saying that I don’t need to watch what I eat because I need to gain some weight.

I fell back into old habits and started eating peanut M&Ms like they were going out of style. I was stress eating due to work, family and school. My training has suffered because of it. I have not wanted to do any training for the last few weeks.

I know that has to stop and will stop come March 1, 2018 when I start training with my #equallyinspiring Coach Lesley.

I help with the weight loss, I started the 5 Day Pouch Test.

 

28061028_10213282224002866_691518186866296010_o

I have done an OK job so far, but need to really step up the game.  I need to do this for me. I am also going to be seeing a therapist to help with the switch or as I call it the hamster on the wheel that is running in my head.

I am not close enough to go to support group meetings in Nashville, TN where I had surgery. The closest support groups in the St. Louis area are all over an hour away and meet either right at rush hour or too late at night.

I know that I can do this and I will get it done. I have to!

This has been a busy and exciting week

This past week has been a very busy one. Trying to get my school work done, from trying to figure out a Fishbone diagram and a PICK chart for my nursing class to having a DXA scan, RMR and VO2 test at school.

The testing at school was a new experience to me and I am still trying to figure out the numbers and what they really mean to my athletic status and what I need to do to improve.

 

VO2.Max.chart.women

My VO2 was 28.5 and for my age of 48 was right in between fair and good. Will need to work on it, also if we had done the other slower test we may have gotten different results. That is partly my fault that I didn’t tell them that my average mile run is between 12 and 14 minutes.

It was a fun 2 hours and learning about what I can do. The VO2 test didn’t last very long as the speed went up fast and I couldn’t handle it at 6mph on the treadmill.

Should have done the other slower build test. Will do that the next time. This was the first time ever doing this type of testing. I was very lucky that I am a student and was able to get the test package at half price.

On January 27, 2018 I heard the news that I had been waiting for…..

 

Triequal

I am so excited to be working with Coach Lesley Kruzel and I can’t wait to get started.

EATING

I have been having issues in this area. It will always be an issue for me no matter what size I am. I have to get it under control.

Trying to find a weight loss support group in my area is very hard. The closest ones are in St. Louis and over an hour away.  I will get through this and be better for it.

I will be writing more about my training and life in general. Going to make it a weekly project and put it on my calendar to remind myself to do it. I am finishing up my BSN and will be graduating on May 4, 2018. Hoping to hear if I have gotten into the MSN program the first week on March for the fall. Then I will have the whole summer off for training, local races and spending time with my son and friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good bye 2017… Hello 2018

As we get ready to ring in a New Year, there are many things that I have to thankful for in the past year.

  1. My wonderful family both blood and chosen. They have been my rock in so many ways.
  2. My wonderful friends that I have met and reconnected with over the past year.
  3. Taking a trip of a lifetime in April to the Grand Canyon and Whitewater Rafting down the Colorado River and then hiking out the Bright Angel Trail.
  4. Maintaining my weight loss for the past year, give and take 10 lbs.
  5. Seeing my son adjust to his mother’s crazy ideals and moving away from what he knew and his friends to a bigger school.
  6. Doing my one and only Tri in August and then doing my first ever half marathon in a little over 3 hours.
  7. Working towards my degree in Nursing and hoping to move towards my Masters degree.
  8. So many more things.

 

Goals for 2018

  1. To maintain my weight better and to find my groove in cooking healthy meals for both of us to eat.
  2. Focus on my last 2 classes for my BSN.
  3. Start back training in a fun and healthy manner.
  4. Have fun this summer with races and spending time with my son and friends.
  5. Going to focus on swimming and riding this winter.
  6. Learn to be in aero on the bike and once weather is better getting out and riding in aero.
  7. More open water swims

 

These are just a few short goals that I want to work towards for 2018.

26170858_10212888766286669_4574672017393998292_o

I am off to a good start.. slow but made my goal of 30 minutes. Need to work on speed and endurance.

 

Have a wonderful and safe New Year!

Jen