Sunday, February 12, 2012

Goal #1: Complete an Indoor Triathlon

When I had knee surgery (to repair a torn meniscus and realign my patella) in 2008, the surgeon told me I wouldn't be able to run again. The recovery from my surgery took so long and what was left when it "healed" felt so crinkly and crappy and swollen that I just gave up. When I give up, I give up all the way. I lost weight and muscle, gained it all back plus 20, and generally felt like crap about myself. I stopped working out for four years because I thought I'd just make it worse.

In August I decided to quit smoking for real. I had been casually partaking in a cigarette at concerts and out at the bar. Plus, I'm not gonna lie, I enjoyed loved smoking a cigarette while drinking a hot cup of coffee on a summer morning. There's really nothing like porch smoking. However, as much as I loved porch smoking, I didn't want to kill myself anymore and I figured I was in a sad state when I couldn't even make it up a flight of stairs without getting red-faced and out of breath. I made another decision: I would work out to help me quit smoking.

When I stepped on the scale after I signed up for the gym and saw the number 200.6 I thought, "Oh HELLS no." I stormed into the locker room, changed into a swimsuit, and started swimming laps. I could only get through 3 lengths before I felt like my lungs would explode, never mind even attempting to run. A friend suggested that I train for the Borgess Health and Fitness Club's indoor triathlon in February. I laughed, but agreed to do it. Why not reach for unattainable goals like being fit and active again?

Well guess what, people?

Today I finished my first indoor triathlon (Goal #1 on my 30b430 list) and I totally kicked its ass. In a way it seems cheesy that I'm so excited about it, but I didn't think I'd ever be athletic again!

The Borgess indoor tri consisted of a 20 minute swim, 20 minute bike, and 20 minute run with five minutes in between each event. My goals were to hit 40 lengths in the pool, 6 miles on the bike, and 2 miles on the treadmill. I was really nervous to start, but after the first five minutes of swimming I hit my stride and got in the zone:
Props to my best friend, A.J. for taking pictures and supporting me!
I swam so hard that I felt like I was in a hot tub. It was not refreshing. However, when the whistle blew, my fitness guru and swim marshall Meg told me I hit 40 lengths! Badass! It helped to have her cheering me on throughout the swim.

Then came the biking:

My workout buddy Danielle told me last week that if I kept it above 18 mph I would hit 6 miles in 20 minutes. So I set my resistance at 10 and biked away. I'd like to thank Girl Talk for creating songs like this one that keep me pumped up for so long:

After I sweat through my shirt and pants (note to self: get some dri-wick), I looked at my distance and BAM! 6.4 miles. Badass!

Last but not least, the thing I used to love but am now afraid to do: The 20 minute run. Four years ago, I was clocking 7 minute 30 second miles. Today, I was aiming for 10 minute miles:
Red-faced and open-mouthed but quite pleased with myself.
And yes, I did it. Around 11 minutes I started thinking, "Blah, blah, blah, treadmills are boring and my side hurts! I shouldn't have eaten oatmeal this morning because now I feel like I have a big ball bouncing around in my stomach! I really used to run almost 30 miles a week? What the hell was I thinking?!" I pushed through and made it to 2.1 miles. BADASS!

I don't know how they go about placing people or posting people's times, but I gave the event marshall my card feeling pretty gosh darn good about myself:

This was a great way to start out the week. My self-confidence is rising, I've got a goal completed on the list, and I'm down 17 pounds since I started training. Basically, I'm Queen of the World today and I wish everyone a fabulous week:

Next step... training for an outdoor triathlon and tackling a simpler goal (maybe I'll pop a champagne cork next weekend). 


1. Complete an indoor triathlon. 2/12/12
2. Complete an outdoor triathlon.
3. Swim across West Twin Lake and Rose Lake.
4. Bike the Kal-Haven Trail.
5. Play the piano in front of people.
6. Visit my family in the Philippines (or at least have tickets booked by my 30th birthday).
7. Have a conversation with a dear Senegalese friend in French or Wolof (preferably Wolof).
8. Visit my grandparents in California.
9. Pop a champagne cork with no fear.
10. Make leche flan (it's Filipino, it's amazing, and I'm makin' it).
11. Jar or can veggies, pickles, sauce... something.
12. Submit some of my academic writing and then, maybe, you know... get it published.
13. Travel out of the country with Nate.
14. Pay off at least 50% of my remaining undergraduate credit card debt.
15. Sing karaoke by myself in Kalamazoo in front of all of my friends.
16. Eat clean for one month.
17. Pick berries and bake something with them.
18. Write at least one chapter of the novel that I write in my mind while I'm walking the dogs.
19. Thank my mom for everything she's done for me.
20. Go further into the UP than the Mystery Spot tourist trap and jump into Lake Superior.
21. Get chosen for one more summer fellowship in another country where I am able to work with youth.
22. Go on a police ride along.
23. Get to 200 blog posts.
24. Make some decisions about my career and/or PhD prospects.
25. Attend roller derby training so I can learn the moves.
26. Learn how to flip turn when I'm swimming laps.
27. Take a real personal day.
28. Learn how to drive a stick.
29. Go horseback riding.
30. Poach an egg perfectly.

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