Monday, June 21, 2010

I am a Triathlete!

Saturday: Pre Race Prep

After getting everything that Dawn and I need to race (her bike, wet suit rental, race belts, extra nutrition and hydration, flip flops, etc.) We parked the truck at the Old Convention Center for a short bike ride over to the Expo to pick up Dubois, Trudy and Francy for an exciting/dangerous ride through the city to the Transition area. The plan was to rack our bikes and go out for a practice swim. As we looked for our bike rack, Lloyd magically appeared to help us out and explain where to set up transition and where to run in/out. We grabbed our gear and headed over to the Potomac. I was so anxious and just wanted to get in that I probably rushed everyone. And then, my surprisingly emotional response to all of this began. I sat on the dock with my feet in the water and I STARTED BAWLING!! I don't know where the tears came from, but they were flowing. All I could say (through those childlike breathless gaps of talking while crying) is "I don't know why I'm upset". My immediate thought was " I want Mei Mei (my swim coach)", but Mei Mei wasn't there. My next thought was, "I need a hug from Lloyd" (who was never that far away), but I knew that he would not be gentle with me and tell me how I am ready for this, I can swim and that I trained hard so jump in. I quickly realized that I had all that I needed right there with me: Trudy in the water talking softly to me telling me to take my time getting in, Dawn at my side rubbing my back and Francy right there saying how this can be a bit overwhelming, so what I am feeling is normal. I jumped in. I quickly grabbed hold to the wall  and clung to it for dear life, but I jumped in. I decided to bob my head in and out of the water. I reminded myself that I swam in the Chesapeake Bay without a wetsuit and at the Wilson pool in 13 feet of water without a wetsuit, so swimming here with kayakers and  Lloyd was on the deck watching my every move, so I should be just fine. I know how to swim! The goal was to swim to the first buoy and turn back. Mei Mei and Lloyd both instructed me to not swim that far the day before the race and to not let those anxious folks swimming the whole course sway me into doing otherwise. I swam out 100 meters to the first buoy, around and back. It seemed like it took longer to get back, as I could not see the exit. But nevertheless, I got back. Everyone was on the deck waiting for me, although Francy and Dawn never left my side during the swim. Lloyd greeted me with a big hug. I was dizzy from the floating deck, but otherwise, I felt okay.The big question was "wetsuit or no wetsuit" due to the extremely hot temperatures. I had spoken to Mei Mei that morning about it after texting her a frantic "WHAT DO I DO??" message. She quickly called me and heard the anxiety in my voice and calmly talked me down. But at the practice swim it was still a question. There was talk of making all of the wetsuit wearing folks go at the end of the race and not with your age group. None of my friends were wearing wetsuits and Lloyd was telling me to not wear it, but the decision was made. I would go into the water again with a wetsuit and see if I overheat or not. I went out to swim again and had so many thoughts in my head and got water in my goggles that I could not get out without filling them back up with water again and I could not see and I started waving my hand frantically for help from a kayaker and boy was I freaking out!! Sarah Thorpe came to my rescue. I grabbed hold of her kayak for dear life and started talking fast about my problem. She saw how I was trying to empty them and told me how to do it. She had me turn on my back to practice emptying my goggles twice and told me how proud of me she is and then, I was on my way. Dawn was on the deck videoing my swim back and me telling her of my experience. After that, I knew that I needed my wetsuit.We were off to dinner with Tania (my mentor) and took it to the house for transition prep and to wind down for the day. I was really wishing for a nice glass of Malbec to help me to relax, but getting dehydrated from alcohol the night before a race, was a terrible idea. The night was long... I could not get race thoughts out of my head and was up every 30 minutes until midnight. I kept having to pee and going in there to speak with Dawn or to put another something that I might need into my bag.

Race Day

Getting ready

The 3 alarms were set for 3am, however my niece accidentally awakened me at 2:47am. I was surprised that I had fallen asleep and just went ahead and got up a few minutes early. My first order of business was to eat breakfast and take my vitamin before getting cleaned up and dressed. Before long Tania was at my house on her bike at 4am and it was time to roll. Windows down, sunroof open, "Run this Town" by Jay Z/Rhianna/Kanye was blaring, I took off and started to scream "WHOOOOOOOOO!" as I sped away to complete my first race. Tania routed me to the corner of the transition area and she took off in my truck to get a prime parking space for us after the race. I'm glad that I stopped at the porta potty before they got nasty. Dawn and I set up transition, which was pretty easy after Tania's help the night before. We then headed off to get body marked and our timing chips. I was purposely avoiding anyone out there with less than positive energy and that idle chit chat mess that would make me more nervous. Tania found us in the crowd and hung with me until I was about to hop into the water (She ROCKS). Lloyd found me and came to wish me good luck. My girls found me (Lisa, Robin, Gladys and Pier). I will refer to them as my Stalker Fans from here on out. When they came I was so surprised and happy and then the tears started to roll again. I am not the emotional chic who is always crying, so I don't know where this was coming from! They quickly left to post up in a prime position after showing us their map and telling of their walk/run/metro ride plan to be at every point of the race. Lisa organized the whole thing and they all had their cameras and was properly prepared.  When the National Anthem played, I cried again. Trudy found me to wish me good luck and for some reason, I teared up again. One of the co-leaders of our NTP training program, Cassey was right behind me in the swimsuit wave. I saw Lloyd and he high fived me and my Stalker Fans were cheering quiet loudly right before it was time to jump in.

The swim

I jumped in with the wetsuit wave and got a little anxious waiting for the horn to go off. I accidentally touched this guys back and I wished that I could really hold onto his back. I really wanted to hold onto someone! I found myself in the middle of the pack and desperately wanted to get to the far side and back of the pack, but I didn't want to expend that much energy. The horn went off and I started to swim. Slow and easy. I even found myself passing a person or two. I kept my thoughts positive and knew that all that matters is that I made it out of the water. We had until 9am to make it out and it was only 6:30 or so, so I knew that I had plenty of time. I freestyled the entire way except once when I did a little breaststroke to see which way I was supposed to go. The buoys seemed to come up pretty fast and before long I knew it was time to get out when I saw the huge SWIM OUT HERE signs. I smiled big every time I came up for air to look where I was going. I almost swam off course once too. I ran up those stairs, whipped my pink swim cap off of my head, started twirling it around with the other hand in the air, I started jumping up and down and the Stalker Fans were cheering loudly and Lloyd was screaming and ringing his cow bell and I DID IT!!!! I predicted that I would complete the swim in 24 minutes but I knew it could be up to 30 minutes. I did it in 25:23. Tania was right there to greet me and I gave her a big 'ol wet hug and I was waving at people that I didn't know  and running... but I quickly pooped out and thought, dang I still have 2 more legs to this race...


My transition from the swim to the bike was very long. It was never my plan to run in and out quickly. I knew that if I put on my bike shoes with grass on my feet that it would bug me to the point of pulling over on my bike to get it right later. I had an extra water bottle and towel to clean my feet, I got in some food and drink, I reapplied deodorant and applied sunscreen and some ointment to my face which has gotten really bad in the last few weeks from swimming in the lake, the pool and being in the sun. I got my bike gear on and I was out of transition in 8:37.    


Tania was right there at the gate cheering me on as I rode out! At the corner of 15th and the Mall I saw Tish and Jolie ringing her cute little pink cow bell (which helped me to finish the run... more on that later). I was feeling really good about getting out of the water that I probably took it way too easy on the bike. I was waving and saying good morning and thank you for being here to all of the volunteers and spectators and people that were out for their usual Sunday morning exercise. I hit a few pot holes and my front wheel started to make noise. My plan was to keep going unless that front wheel came off. I saw my Stalker Fans and almost wanted to stop and hang out with them. I slowed down but they encouraged me to keep going. I took it nice and easy and was passed by a few people with the racing wheels, which I was cool with. I was cruising along until this dude passed me on a mountain bike. Really. I got passed my a dude on a mountain bike?? I started to speed up then but I never saw that dude again. That told me that I needed to put that carbon Orbea road bike to the test. I passed a few people and before I knew it, I was done. I was so confused when I saw the dismount signs. I was thinking, "oh, is that IT??" Tania was there again cheering me on telling me how I smoked the bike.  I did it in 53:51. Dawn was waiting for me in transition.


I took my sweet time in transition again. Dawn and I chatted about her bike ride, which she thought was surprisingly easy. We took a few pictures and slowly got it together. Lloyd greeted us and ran out with us  after being in transition for 9:40.


Tania was there cheering us on while she rode her bike. I stopped amongst the trees and released my bladder again. This was the second time that I used the elements as my own personal toilet as those lines to the porta potties were long and they were nasty by now.  I did not feel like running. Dawn dragged me to get it going. We did walk a bit and when we arrived at the first water station. I felt like a looser when I realized how close it was. Our plan was to run a mile at a time and take a quick break at the water stops. The sun was beaming and my legs were so tired. We saw my Stalker Fans and Jolie and Tish again. When we passed the Tri Unify table the were jamming "It's Time for the Percolator!". We kept pushing through. We passed by the finish line  and saw Tania again. She was on the other side of the barricades and running with us telling us how she had chill bumps for us. I got so many DC TRI shouts. I saw Will, one of our NPT co-leaders taking my picture. And this is when it got tough. As we approached the Capital and had to do a hair pin turn and then run up Capital Hill (which I walked the entire way), I realized that I was spent of all of my energy and this is what makes the sport of Triathlon so hard. I must have looked hot, because at the water spot this girl just poured ice water on me. I didn't even care about my cell phone in my pocket getting wet. I got 2 more cups of water and dumped them on my head. We ran back down Capital Hill and then had another hair pin turn. I knew that the finish line was close, but we couldn't see it. This is when I bonked out. The only thing that kept me going was seeing Tish and Jolie again. The sound of that bell and those screams kept me going. I wanted to cry. I started to hyperventilate. Dawn was asking if I was okay and saying how she thought that the run was further than 4.2 miles.  I was so hot and tired. I heard her talking but really couldn't hear her , except something about how she was going to make a video on her iPhone of us crossing the finish line. I wanted my mama. I wanted to cry. But then I looked up and saw the finish line. I sprinted ahead. I head the screams. I saw Yolanda and heard her saying "Rebecca, girl you did it!" I tried to straighten my clothes and race number. And standing right there in the middle of the finish line chute was Lloyd. He greeted me with the longest hug and then a kiss. Tania was right behind him. My Stalker Fans (Lisa, Robin, Gladys and Pier) were there. Jolie, Tish  and Sophia were there. It was time for a photo after getting water and a cold towel. I DID IT!  I ran the last leg of my race in 55:57. For an official total race time of  2:33:26 (although the time there said 2:18:25). I predicted that I could do the whole thing in 2 1/2 hours, but I didn't take into effect how long I would be in the Transition area. Not a bad time. My goal was to finish and I did just that.

I DID IT. I AM A TRIATHELETE! Here is a video of my race thanks to Lisa:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Race Info

If you plan to come out to see me race in the Inaugural DC Triathlon on June 20th, please let me know so I can listen out for your screams! The race starts bright and early on this Sunday, June 20th.

My wave gets into the water  to swim at 6am. Coffee, breakfast and porta potties will be available. There is information on the links below of where to park and be to view the race.

It would be nice to have someone there to snap a personal photo of me when I get out of the water, since that is such a major accomplishment for me. If it's too early for you, then no worries, there will be professional photographers on site and I can pay the premium price for a photo of myself. I predict that it will take me about 30 minutes to complete the swim. My bib # is 877 and I will be wearing a pink swim cap with the rest of the competitors in my age group.

The best place to park is: Pennsylvania and 13th street near the Ronald Regan Building. This is a 10- 15 minute walk to the finish line on 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave and the best to see the bikers and runners pass by or at Pennsylvania and 2nd near the US Capitol Building.

Another great place to see the bikers and runners is at 15th and the National Mall or near the Transition area located on Ohio Drive.

There will be a Finish Line Festival at Pennsylvania and 3rd. We can get food and drinks here and Dad's can get massages for Father's Day. I predict that I will be crossing the finish line at about 8:30am.

Info on where to park and watch me race can be found here via video or here in print.

It's countdown time!!

In 5 days and 16 hours I will start my race to become a Triathlete. It has been a very long 20 weeks of training. The memories of the time passed includes frustration of learning to swim, the falls on my bike while getting used to my clipless pedals, figuring out what type of nutrition my belly likes and learning all of the Triathlon lingo. I can now say that I am confident that I will finish. I am actually excited about the swim and want to see how fast I can ride my bike while racing. I ran the run route on yesterday. It took us about an hour to run the 4.2 miles in the blazing heat which caused us to walk quite a bit. I think that I can do it in about 45 minutes on race day. I am so excited that my buddy Dawn is coming in town to race with me. I can not wait to post the article that I wrote months ago on being a Triathlete. Something tells me that the sense of accomplishment that I will feel when I cross the finish line will be nothing like I envisioned. Only better.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I'm starting to envision myself crossing the finish line. After my lake swim lesson today, I feel more confident about the swim leg of my race. I still can't say that I am 100% confident, but I trust that I will feel this way soon. Although I have swam more than the distance of my race in the pool, I won't have that sense of complete confidence until I swim the distance or more in open water. Swimming in a constrictive wet suit with currents changes the game. It's not the same as swimming in a pool at all. Today I swam 100 meters and it was hard as heck. I took a break, re-grouped and then swam 400 meters non-stop. I stopped for tips and instruction and swam my last 300 meters before getting out. So, in total I swam 800 meters which is the race distance, but I did not do it continuously.

I now know that after the first 100-200 meters I get into my groove and it gets easier. I was thinking about my form and all of the instruction that I have received and how I need to keep my heart rate low. I felt like I could have kept going. I want to swim the complete distance  of the race at least twice in open water before race day with my instructor. I think that once I do that, I will be confident for race day and I can envision myself ripping off my wetsuit and hopping on my bike and ultimately crossing the finish line to get my metal.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Triathlon Bound!

Today I completed a training Triathlon with Tri Unify. I started out with the DC Tri Club, but they had to cancel the swim portion of the race and  changed it into a Duathlon of Run 3 miles + Bike 16.5 miles + Run 3 miles.  I wasn't interested in doing that and got 2 others to agree to go to the Tri Unify event with me at Sandy Point. This was a better event anyway, because the swim was in the Chesapeake Bay instead of the pool like planned with the DC Tri Club event. I did not have my wetsuit with me, as I wasn't prepared to swim in the bay when I left the house, but I went anyway. The water felt good, but it was much harder to swim without a wetsuit!

In total today we swam ~800 meters in the Bay (the distance of my race on June 20th) + biked 15 miles (my goal race is 16.5 miles and without the hills that we biked today) + ran for 30 minutes (I was pooped and hot, so I walked most of the way). It was a good thing that we had a guy back at the tent grilling, because we were STARVED when we got back.

I felt REALLY good about myself after doing this training Triathlon. I am even more confident that I will be getting a metal at the finish line of the DC Triathlon  in 14 days!!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting ready ready....

 I have been reading this book entitled "Slow Fat Triathlete- Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now". The author is absolutely hilarious! She started her mission to become a Triathlete when she could barely walk around the block and weighed over 230 pounds. I think that the common misconception about the sport of Triathlon is that you have to be in tip top shape and already be the elite athlete. This is the furthest thing from the truth. What one must realize that, like most things in life, it's completely mental. The mind is more powerful than almost anything else in our body. Becoming a Triathlete is all about the desire, commitment and the belief that you can.

I am in the process of preparing myself mentally for my race in 16 days. I know that I have put in the necessary time to train. At times I trained too much and probably put more time into swimming than anyone else that is training for a Triathlon. But that extra time has me in the pool swimming like someone who learned when they were a kid. I have spent some time on my bike, but not as much as I would have liked to. You know, I realized that the bike that I recently purchased was the first bike that I have ever had in my life. As a kid, I used to ride my brother's bike and the memories of that are constantly falling, hurting my girl parts and skinning up my knees. I did know how to ride, but I was probably on the ground more than on the bike. I have to say that I did manage to stay vertical for the most part during training. I did have a goofy fall on Sunday and hurt my knee, which I am hoping gets better really... really... soon!

Triathlon is an endurance sport. It's all about going a long... time in 3 sports. It's not necessary to do all 3 really fast, but to keep going. All of my friends think that I am a fast runner, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. I actually need to work hard in all 3 sports, but running is my strongest since I have done it more in the last year. When I started this mission to become a Triathlete, I didn't do it to loose weight, although I thought that it would be a byproduct of training. It's disappointing that I haven't lost weight. I am however, more stronger and have increased my endurance. If running was a bigger part of the 20 week training program, then the weight would have melted off. I am confident that once this race is behind me, I will be able to run more and since I can swim laps now, I will be able to work on the weight loss. I won't label myself as a Slow Fat Triathlete, but I am close to that description. I guess what's more important is that I have the endurance to become a Triathlete on June 20th. That's the plan. I have written it down and I'm making it happen!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today was a great day

I think that the best thing that I could have done for myself is to take a few days to rest last week. I'm thinking that is what lead to such a successful training day today... well that and some motivating words from my niece.

I went out to Rock Creek Park with Yolanda for a run this morning. In total we ran about 4 miles with minimal breaks. I felt really good. At no point did I want to stop except for a much needed stretch of my calves. Then after several hours of hanging out with me niece and her telling me, "You can do it Teedy, don't doubt yourself", I was ready for my open water swim lesson in Lake Reston. In total today, I swam 600 meters (my race is 750 meters). I took a break after every 100 meters. The goal is to swim for 200 meters continuously next week. I feel like I can do it right now, but since I have the time I will be sure to get in some non-stop laps at the pool to be even more prepared.

All in all, today was a very good training day! I guess that I am really building endurance. Now, when I get tired or don't think that I can make it, I think that my niece's voice will play in my head and I will think "You can do it Teedy, don't doubt yourself"!! I love that kid and I love me... especially after such a great day of training!! 3 weeks to go!!

Burned out?

I started this trek towards becoming a Triathlete in late January. Most of the time has passed with me learning to swim, get used to staying vertical on my bike and very little time running. I guess it's because I have been at this for so long that I am starting to feel a little burned out. I have found myself just not feeling like training. I never used to not feel like training. Something that probably has me a little disinterested is the fact that although I am doing so much more than I ever could, the shyt is still hard. I know that it's hard even for those that have done this before and the fact that I am extraordinary for even setting out to accomplish a goal like this, but the shyt is still hard. If anything, I need to be picking it up and getting stronger and increasing my endurance even more in these last few weeks. I am very grateful that my call for help to my friends was very well received. I know that no one wants to see me quit while I am so close.

Quitting has not come to mind, but the fact that I am getting burned out is a little concerning. I took a needed break this week on Tuesday to prepare for the arrival of my niece and then again today (Friday). This morning I simply did not feel like getting up for an early bike ride. I wrote to Tania to cancel the ride and went back to sleep for 2 hours! I felt so well rested when I awakened. I think that my body needed a rest! I have a pretty jam packed training weekend and I will take up every one's offer to train with me next week.  I will run with Yolanda tomorrow morning and swim in Lake Reston with Mei Mei in the afternoon.On Sunday I will be taking a long bike ride with Tania and friends. Monday the plan is to swim at the Wilson pool (if it's open) and then run with Tania. I plan to run a whole lot more after this June 20th race. I am a little disturbed (well very disturbed, actually) that I still don't like the way my body looks after all of this training! I know that running will help to fix it along with Pilates and some other things. I think that me not seeing physical results is leading to my disinterest with training too.

Next Saturday is a training Triathlon at Hains Point with my training group. The swim is in a pool and it's 400 meters, the bike ride is 17.5 miles and the run is 3 miles. My goal is to increase my comfortability with swimming laps this week and by next Saturday, I will be able to swim the distance with ease!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

29 days to go!

The Triathlon that I have been training for is only 29 days away! For those who would like to come out to see me accomplish my goal of crossing the finish line, the finish line will be on Pennsylvania avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets on June 20th. I think that I should be done by 8:30.  I can sure use some cheerleaders! I'm still trying to figure out how/where my friends can be to cheer me on during the swim and the bike. I have a little time to figure this out, but for now, here is the link with more info.

The training is going well. I swam 1150 meters on Wednesday without stopping to take a break until after 700 meters. BOY have I come a long... way! I have a few more lake swimming lessons, will increase my comfort level with swimming long distances in the pool and will continue to get more comfy on my bike. I also promise myself that I will run more. The running is what has been lacking and I suck at it because I simply have not been running.

Thanks to all who have supported me throughout this journey! I have 29 more days of this and then it's the big day!! I can't wait!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Training with an experienced Triathlete

Today I trained with my friend Trudy, who is an experienced Triathlete. She is doing the race on June 20th also, but the one that is twice the length of mine (Olympic distance). We have committed to training HARD for the next 4 weeks and taking it light in the week prior to the race. Now, I knew that this chic was experienced and expected the workout to be hard, but dang.... training with her kicked my butt today!

We met up at the Wilson pool because they have 50 meters lanes. The benefit of training there is that you have to swim for a longer time before stopping to turn around. I was a little nervous as the lanes looked so.... long and the depth is like 13 feet or something. I worked on some drills and focused on some things that I received feedback on. I swam 800 meters (with many breaks) in total. We left the pool and headed to her gym, Results, for a ride on the stationary bike. Trudy shared with me how she trains on the stationary bike and how it corresponds to riding her road bike. I set my bike up similar to what she did and baaaby, it was HARD! In total, I rode 1 hour = 15 miles on the stationary bike, with the resistance set at 8 and I maintained a speed of 15 miles per hour. Trudy increases the resistance to 11 and rides 20 miles per hour = hard core! I have never sweat so much in the gym before! After we were done, she insisted that we get on the treadmill for at least a mile. I lasted 1/2 mile at a 2.5% incline.

Whew... I was so tired and hungry! I ate a turkey burger and salad faster than I have ever eaten in life after we were done! So, now I know how an experienced  Triathlete trains. I now know that I need to push myself harder for the next 4 weeks. I'm committed. The train of thought is, if you train hard, then the race won't be so foreign to your body on race day. Embrace the pain is my new mantra!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Swimming in the Chesapeake Bay

The first group swim in the Chesapeake Bay is behind me. The water was cold, but I was prepared for that. There were currents, but I was prepared for that too. What I wasn't prepared for was how HARD it was going to be to swim. I found that I got tired easily and it was tough going, but I didn't freak out or get into any trouble. It was so hard that I got mad that I didn't have more endurance. But I am committed. It will get easier and I will be able to go for a longer time before I get tired. I am committed to swimming 20 laps at least 2 times a week to build endurance. 20 continuous laps which equates to 1000 meters (my race is only 750 meters). I will get stronger. I will!

We dried off and got on our bikes for an hour and  a half ride. We went through Annapolis which has some hills, so it was tough. I still don't have the gear shifting thing down, but I went for an hour and a half and covered nearly 20 miles!

The one thing that I have to remember is that it is tough for everyone and what's important is that I finish. Today, I finished and that's all that matters.

Next up: Swim Clinic again on tomorrow in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm hoping to find someone to run with me when I make it back to DC.

I can do this!!

Okay. Today is the day that I swim in open water with a group of people. We are swimming in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm looking forward to seeing what it feels like to be in the water with a lot of other people. I sort of feel confident about this, as I have been out in the lake a few times, but I hear that swimming in the lake is different than swimming in the Bay and swimming alone versus with a whole lot of other people is different. I'm trying to quiet my nervous jitters by reminding myself that I now know how to swim and I have been in open water before. Sure, I freaked out that one time, but I continued to swim and I have been back out there since that experience. I CAN DO THIS!

I will have 3 experiences of swimming in open water with a group before race day on June 20th. Each time will be clinics for beginner swimmers in open water. I have a few more times for private lessons before race day too. I trust that I will be fully prepared by then and possibly, much before then.

The mantra in my head this morning: I CAN DO THIS!! I CAN DO THIS!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Randoms of a soon to be Triathlete

I feel really good about myself today.

I recently committed to doing some core exercises to make this unfavorable part of my body go away.

Today I did 20 minutes of Pilates and 20 minutes of Turbo Jam Abs  on my lunch hour, because this unfavorable area has GOT to disappear before it's bikini time!

I was committed today.

I swam in Lake Reston although it was drizzling and less than 60 degrees outside.

I am still psyched that I swam 20 laps on Sunday.

I want/need to make that a habit.

My friend Dawn signed up to complete my Triathlon with me!

I went for a jog after dark today. I only ran 1 mile, but it was well lit in the area and I overcame the fear of running alone after dark.

I am feeling REALLY good about my level of commitment to becoming a Triathlete.

My friend Monnie gave me a gift on Sunday and told me that she is proud of me, even if I didn't do the race that day.

My friends completely F'ing ROCK!

I am still awake and need to be at the gym in 6 hours for swim and spin.

I am in love with myself for setting out to do something that once seemed impossible.

I now know that nothing is impossible if I set my mind to it.

I can't wait until I can say that I am a Triathlete!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The journey continues

The journey is definitely more important than the destination. I learned this lesson this week. When I realized that I was not ready to do the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon today that I was going to use as a test race, I decided to not quit, not feel defeated or feel slow or irrational for thinking that I can do this. I decided to continue on my journey and do all that I can to be prepared on June 20th. It was imperative to me that I make this weekend a very good training weekend.

On Saturday I went for a bike ride. 20 miles round trip. My race is 18 miles on the bike, so I now know that I can complete the bike leg of the race. I got dropped by the group because I wasn't as fast as them. I got lost because I lost sight of the group and had no idea which way to go. When I ended up on Wisconsin Avenue and I started in Rock Creek Park, I knew I had gone too far, turned around and met up with the group right near where we started. None of that mattered. What mattered to me is that when I got back home, my bike said said that I rode for 20 miles (even if I was so pooped that I walked my bike home for the last block). Then, I went to Rock Creek Park with Yolanda and we walked/ran 3 miles, which is the distance of my race.My legs were so... tired from the bike ride that I could not run the entire distance, but I know that I can run 3 miles and if push came to shove, I could walk the 3 miles to the finish line.

Today I went to the gym with Tania, my mentor, and we warmed up by swimming 4 or 5 laps and then I told her that my goal was to swim 20 laps with no breaks. It's pretty difficult to not stop at the end of the lane to turn around and I did take 2-3 quick breaks and had to relax on my back twice, but I DID IT!! I SWAM 20 LAPS!!! My race is 750 meters which is equivalent to 16 laps, so I now know that I can swim the distance of my race plus a little further.

This weekend was a good training weekend on my continued journey to become a Triathlete. I know that after this weekend, which started with me feeling like a failure for not bring ready for my race today, ended up being a great training weekend in which I biked and swam more than the distance of my race. I now know that I can do the distances. Now, I just need to get ready for swimming in open water and get used to running 3 miles after biking 18 miles and swimming 750 meters. It's all about building endurance and I can do it. I WILL do it. I will be a Triathlete on June 20th. I hope to have some cheerleaders to help along the way.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

There comes a time...

I'm sure that it is pretty normal at some point during training for a Triathlon that you begin to question your level of insanity. Today I did that. I also realized that sometimes there comes a time to re-evaluate the circumstances and re-strategize. I did that today too. I went for my second swim lesson in Lake Reston today in advance of this Sunday's Kinetic Sprint Triathlon. The plan was to use it as a test race prior to my big race on June 20th. I was feeling pretty confident until today.

The wind was blowing and there were currents and fish and a whole family of ducks and my goggles were all fogged up and I couldn't see my instructor in the kayak and pollen was on top of the water and... all of a sudden, it was like, I forgot what I was supposed to be doing. I started thinking about what to do with my arms and my legs and tried to backstroke and found my self screaming, "I NEED A BREAK". My instructor was right there with the kayak. I grabbed a hold of the kayak like it was going to save my life. I started to tell her how I'm not ready... and I can't do it... and I need more time....

She was really patient and made me realize that I am doing more than most people ever would. She reminded me that I am doing more than I could do 5 months ago. She reminded me that I am extraordinary for just signing up to do a Triathlon. She brought me to shore and asked me to tell her 3 things that I did well. We talked about some things and together realized that, yes perhaps I do need more time. I calmed down and then she went out into the lake a bit in the kayak and had me to swim to her. I rested and then swam back to shore. We did this about 4 times and each time she went further and further out and gave me some tips. By the last time, I felt like she was way to close to shore and I could have swam further.

The new plan is to swim in the lake weekly and at least 2-3 times between that, work on building my endurance. I will work on swimming 16 laps in the pool comfortably (which is the distance of my race) but work my way up to swimming 20 laps comfortably, as it is always better to know that you can go a little further than you have to.

So, there comes a time when you have to realize that you need a little more time. I will not be doing the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon on this Sunday. By no means am I quitting. I'm just taking the time that's needed. I have 6 weeks until my goal race on June 20th and by all means I will be ready!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The F word

I love the F word. Now, I'm sure that some of you are thinking that I mean Fcuk or Fabulous or maybe even Fart. I'm talking about Friends. My friends are absolutely phenomenal (boy, how I wish that word started with an F). Often times, you find out who your friends are during trying times. Recently I had the opportunity for my true friends to step up when my health was compromised. When I started on my journey to become a Triathlete, I did not think of this as the opportunity for friends to step up again. I only started this blog because I wanted to record the experience. I didn't expect anyone to follow the blog, or cheer me along or even join me in my journey to become more physically fit. My friends have repeatedly stepped up and gave advice, tough love, shared in my chuckles about embarrassing moments and have even helped me to train. I love my F words. They rock and I am forever endeared by their level of friendship to me. Thank you to all of my F words!! I love yall!

The wetsuit and lake experience

Triathlon wetsuits are designed for speed and warmth during an open water swim.

Take note that there is no zipper in the front on the picture above. Or on ANY wetsuit. These things are extremely hard to put on. It's like putting on an extra think pair of pantyhose that's too tight (don't ask me how I know that feeling). The lady gave me a few tips on how to get it on easier and she handed me mine with them almost turned inside out and instructed me to call her so that she can zip me up... I stepped in like she instructed and worked.... it up. When I was finally ready to flip the top up to work my arms into it, I noticed that the zipper was in the front. I worked my arms in and then I thought.... "hhmm... now why should I call her to zip this up? I am more than capable of doing so." Thinking nothing of the zipper being in the FRONT of my wetsuit, I stuck my head out and called the girl for her help. This guy caught sight of me and told her out loud that I put the thing on backwards, which was obviously pretty hilarious to everyone in the very packed store. After fighting with that thing to get it on backwards, I was not happy about fighting to get it off and then on again the correct way, but I did.

The instructor that took me out to swim in the Lake was the best! She hugged me when we met up and just immediately made me feel more at ease. We sat and talked for awhile before I got into to the freezing azz Lake Reston (we think it was about 60 degrees). She was really good with helping me to get acclimated to swimming in  a lake. I think the best thing that she could have instructed me to do was turn over on my back. This was for me to learn that the wetsuit helps me to float and that I can not sink. She told me to take a breath with every stroke and look where I am going often. We worked on a few things and then I got out. She said that we will do more on Tuesday and believes that I will do fine on May 9th and beyond.

This experience taught me the importance of remaining calm, that the wetsuit is really my friend and that I can do this! I'm sure that I will be even more sure of my ability between now and race day. The one thing that she wants me to do is work on building my endurance in the pool. So, back to swimming laps again with no breaks or flipping to my back when I get tired.

Who would have thought that I would be swimming in a lake not long after learning how to swim for the first time?? I ROCK!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Taking it to the lake

So tomorrow is my first swim lesson in a lake. Lake Reston to be exact. The instructor that's taking me out is the cream of the crop when it comes to these types of swim lessons. She assured me that after tomorrow and Tuesday, I will be ready to complete the swim leg of my Triathlon.

I was a little nervous today about my lesson, because I have not been in the pool for over 2 weeks. As soon as my flight landed this evening, I headed straight to the gym to swim. Confusion quickly set in as I tried to figure out why my darn heart was beating so fast that I had to take many more breaks. Usually it's my breathing that I have to try to slow down, but tonight it was my heart and my breathing. I took some time to think through it and calm myself down with some positive thoughts and practicing my backstroke. I think that I am just anxious about getting into the lake tomorrow. I decided to get out of the pool after 30 minutes.

I will rely on my training tomorrow. I have taken enough lessons, I know exactly what to do and I know some recovery strokes. I know that I float very well and if I get in trouble, I can always lay on my back and calm down.

This is a big fcuking deal to me, but I know that I will do just fine... at least I hope I do.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Riding with Tri Unify

Yesterday I rode with Tri Unify. The plan was to cycle for about 10 miles or so and then run. We got together in Greenbelt Park which has a few hills and we went for it. Now, this was only the second time that I rode hills and I have not really figured out all of the gear shifting stuff. I learned that riding on the flat Hains Point route has spoiled me in a terrible way. We started riding together and Adrienne spent some time explaining what I should do on hills. Trudy hung back with me for awhile while I tried to get it together. However, before long, I was all alone with folks zipping by me. I really needed the time to figure it out and power through it. Trudy was awesome with her motivational tips. I felt beat. Defeated. Slow. Confused as to why it was so hard for me. But I went 10 miles.

When it was time to run, my legs were jelly. Trudy tried to push me and I was so... relieved that it started to drizzle. I turned around with the excuse of not wanting to get my freshly relaxed hair wet. I hated to do so, because I am not the chic to deter a work out for hair issues. But baaabay, my legs needed the excuse on yesterday!

Riding with Tri Unify was great and created a whole 'nother level of competitive edge within me! I now know what I need to do and it has jump started me to train HARDER. I have been a little 'laxed lately, especially this week.  No 'laxed no more! It's ON.....! I'm going to be a Triathlete yall!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

OCD or just wanting to be prepared??

"As you get closer to your goal race(s), try to spend more time on the road and as little time as possible training indoors"

I read this online on tonight. It was in an article on traveling while training for a Triathlon. It jogged my memory of a comment by a good friend tonight when I expressed my concerns with traveling for work next week while preparing for a race. Her comment: "Well, we know that you are OCD...". My response was that I didn't want to drown (we were talking about me not being able to swim in preparation for a relaxer that is needed prior to my trip and not swimming while on my trip due to just getting a relaxer and the thought of what I was going to do with my hair. See, black women and hair maintenance can be a major issue with all of this swimming and working out). As the only minority woman in my company, I feel that I can't change my professional look to an urban one and therefore the dilemma...

So, am I OCD or just desiring to be prepared?? I think it's the latter. Triathletes who are swimmers already train hard. I am starting at a disadvantage as a new swimmer and cyclist and trying to get back into running. I want to be able to not only compete, but finish. I don't think it's OCD if I just want to be considered average. I just want to finish...

2 weeks off from swimming (1 week to prepare for a relaxer and 1 week while at a meeting) is making me nervous. The day after I get back, I have a swimming lesson in a freaking LAKE.

It's not OCD if you are not prepared. It's just called getting prepared.... *hard stare*****

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Random thoughts of a soon to be Triathlete

Running is so hard, but I never want to quit. I get mad and feel like a wimp when I have to stop and catch my breath

I scream when I am on my bike and my legs start to hurt and I can't go faster or keep up

I like screaming when I am on my bike riding by the water

I am completely pumped about becoming a Triathlete!

I am confident that I will be prepared to complete the swim, bike and run!

I am specifically excited that I will have 2 swim lessons in a lake before my first Triathlon (May 9th), which I am using for a "test run" before the big date JUNE 20th!

I am so proud of myself for learning to swim!

I want to be able to swim laps continuously and not be so tired...

I ran the 6K Race for Water today and it kicked my butt!

I wasn't nothing more than to be able to ride and run hills, to run continuously and swim continuously

I think that some of my friends don't understand my level of commitment to this

While I do want to meet for drinks, dinner, happy hour and to date, I would much prefer to go for a swim

My hair has taken a back seat to swimming. I hope that it is not damaged when I go to get it relaxed at the end of the week.

I wish that I had a different hair type and not have to deal with my hair so much!

I want to pick it up and perform better RIGHT NOW!

I know that patience is key and rest is so necessary

I like sleeping for hours after a good swim

I now see the importance of getting massages!


That really makes me smile on the inside....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Learning some new things

Today ended this swim class that I was taking at a DC Public pool. It was really good for me in that it taught me some basics that I need to know. I can Freestyle swim, but I needed some "oh darn, I'm tired of swimming in this nasty lake/river and I have too much to live for to drown" stokes. We were taught to backstroke (which I don't feel is a recovery stroke AT ALL), breast stroke (which takes a whole lot of coordination), how to tread water, introduced to deeper water (10 feet) and today we learned to dive! While it was cool to dive (minus my goggles coming off twice and becoming very... familiar with my right eyeball, which hurts like hell and probably will  look nasty by morning), it won't help me for my race. It was really about increasing our comfort in deep water and testing out our ability to tread water. I am so confident in my freestyle that I was like, "hell, if I get in trouble, I will just freestyle or blow bubbles till I get to the top". I found that I treaded water with ease once I had to.

I have been practicing the drills that I have been learning in my Total Immersion swim lessons. I am ready to pick it up with that instructor, but he is very careful to make sure that I have the basics down pat. He swears that I will be ready to do my "test race" and not tire easily because he will have me swimming more efficiently.

I am MOST excited about this open water swim coach availability to take me out into a lake on May 1st and 4th in advance of my "test race" on May 9th. She swears that I will be ready!!

Also, I FINALLY met my DC Tri  Club New Triathlon Program mentor Tania.  We have been emailing over the last few weeks and she is just as cool in person as her personality is over email! She has committed to tackling some hills with me starting next week, because apparently, my "test race" is quite hilly.

Things are really starting to come together for this race. I will go running again tomorrow and try to go 3 miles without stopping. I will also commit to swimming laps again soon to build my endurance. I'm getting excited again!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Respect the hills!

There are certain things in this Triathlon sport that will gain your respect and one of those things are HILLS. Running hills are tough as heck, but try cycling up them jokers and you are in for a nasty word that is an antonym for a treat.

I went for a bike ride on Sunday with Shani and Neisha in Virginia. Shani had found a loop that would take us from Shirlington, around the airport and back to Shirlington. She mentioned that it wasn't a completely flat course and I wasn't fazed. I just figured that  I could handle it, as I usually do. I guess it really didn't help that we had a little bit of confusion as to whether or not we were crossing at this intersection and some people went and my friend started to go and I started to go and then she stopped and the girl behind me ran into me and I lost my balance and CRASHED. I got up and made it across the street with bent handle bars and a newly squeaky bike. We fixed it best we could and kept moving. Although my bike computer wasn't registering and gears were not shifting right. So, when we hit the first hill with malfunctioning gears.... it was TOUGH. The hills on that ride which turned out to be 18 miles round trip gained my respect.

I reached out to my mentor today and we have committed to getting together once weekly to ride hills and work on gearing properly to get up and down hills. I think I may need to do some squats and stuff to strengthen my legs too. Those hills are no joke. I plan to run in Rock Creek Park weekly again this year and master a few of those hills and the one by Cardoza this year. Last year, the one by Cardoza kicked my butt repeatedly. This year, I want that hill to respect ME! Okay, off to bed now. I'm getting delirious....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Being a Tortoise

Being a tortoise isn't easy. But through consistency, determination and commitment, I keep getting up and out on the street to run, bike and to the pool to swim. Some days are tougher than others. Some days I have to question my level of sanity. However, the results are the same. I say out loud: I'M COMMITTED! And that is all that it takes to get me going.

I have a plan that I think I will stick with. I have to prepare for 2 5K's that are coming up in 2 and 3 weeks. I have to build my endurance to the point of not stopping while running. I may not do the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon on  May 9th that I was going to use as my "test race", unless this instructor can get me out into Lake Reston prior to experience what it is like to swim in open water. I'm cool with skipping that race, if I need to. I will have plenty of opportunities to swim in a lake/river before the big race on June 20th.

The swimming is coming along nicely. I have great technique, I'm working on learning more and building endurance. I have full confidence that I will be able to complete the swim leg of my race.Cycling is not a challenge for me. I still just need to get an idea of how fast I should be going while training. I know that a cadence of at least 90-95 is good for race day, but am I supposed to be training at that cadence?? That's fast and super hard to do, but I have time to build up to it and get comfy there if I learn that I should be going that fast now.

I have to remind myself that the tortoise gets to the finish line. She gets there and gets there slllooowwwlllly, but she gets there. And that's all that matters. Finishing. Finishing is my goal.

The Tortoise and the Hare is a fable attributed to Aesop. The story concerns a hare who ridicules a slow-moving tortoise. In response, the tortoise challenges his swift mocker to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise far behind and, confident of winning, he decides to take a nap midway through the course. When he awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has already won the race.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Building endurance

For the person who likes to make a plan and make it happen, building endurance can be a bit of a slower pace than desired. I know that I signed up for a 20 week training program and that the key was to be consistent and work out 6 days/week, but I feel like I could be doing so much more! I have learned that would be counterproductive, so I have slacked off and tried to stick with the training plan. However, now instead of feeling lazy, I feel kind of bored. I guess  it's just the thought of training for an event with 3 sports. In my mind, I need to be training hard and all the time. The truth is, when building endurance, you build it slowly... When I think about it, it does make a whole lot of sense. Last week I was freaking out about not running more and all that, but then I realized that I can't be pounding my body around like that every other day for 20 weeks and then be ready to compete. I have swallowed the chill pill and am sticking to the program. I will just try to make the best out of the trainings that I do have and maybe only extend them for another 15-30 minutes, if I can.

So far this week:
Monday: PLAN: Bike 1 hr ACTUAL: Bike 1 hr + 30 min swim class
Tuesday: PLAN:Swim 30 ACTUAL: 60 min swim lesson
Wednesday: PLAN:  Bike 45 min ACTUAL: run 45 min (3mi) + 30 min swim class

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Feeling kinda lazy

I have been asked questions by friends that have suggested that perhaps I am over training. I gave it some thought and decided to stick to the training plan, although I know I am not athletically adept as my new Triathlete counterparts. I took my rest day on Friday as planned, ran 3.1 miles on Saturday and nothing so far today. After reading that a lot of my New Triathlete Program club members did the Duathlon on Hains Point today which was:
Duathlon - March 28th
Run 3.0 miles - Bike 15.8 miles - Run 3.0 miles = Duathlon

When I first read of the event, I thought, "geez, I am not ready to do THAT". But now after reading that some other beginner Triathletes did it, I'm thinking "I better get on my shyt!!". I want to be able to do that. And since I don't have the level of fitness to do it now, then I have to step it up to get there.

So, to all of you who think that I am over doing it: I hear you. Trust me, I don't want to hurt myself either. I do take rest days and sometimes 2 rest days per week. But I have to step up my game in order to hang with these folks. They are not going to leave me in the dirt . They may beat me out of the water for the swim, but I need to be able to kick azz in the rest of the race. Especially on the bike.

I'm laying low today, as I don't feel 100%. But tomorrow? GAME ON!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Running right on track

So, just when I thought that I was behind with my running in training for my Triathlon, one of the other new Triathletes in training asked the following in our forum:

I was just looking over the newly posted training April training plan and I have a quick question about the running workouts. I noticed that for the most part we're still only doing 1 run a week (longer but still infrequent), and I'm getting nervous about the ever shorten amount of time between now and the race.

 Running is my weakest sport by far and I have worked my way up to doing 15:30 min/miles in Z1-2 and I'm still only going about 2 miles at a time. I am making improvements, for sure, but I wonder if I'm starting so far behind the normal curve of running ability that I won't make enough improvements to run the race in June.

Does the training plan assume a certain base level of running ability? And if so, should I be doing something additional to help my running rather than just the increasingly longer one day a week scheduled runs?

One of the Co-leaders of our New Triathlete Training Program's reply:

First off, we're only 8 weeks into the 20 week program, so you still have plenty of time. Don't start freaking out just yet. :)

Secondly, the plan does not really assume a certain running ability to begin with. The one run a week is building up your base slowly. The cycling is also going to help cross-train you to also develop your running base.

For week 11 of the sprint training plan or week 10 of the Olympic training plan, you will begin to have 2 runs per week. These will slowly begin to ramp up in time and zone as the training plan progresses. So you will definitely begin getting more runs in soon.

I believe this is done because running has the most impact on your body and can do the most damage (unless you fall on your bike or something), so the plan is designed to help build up an athletic and cardio base (swimming, cycling and minimal running) before you really begin to ramp up the running and put a lot more physical stress on your body.

However, if you really feel running is your weakest sport, the training plan is adaptable and you can trade one of the cycling days for an additional running day. But remember to obey the 10% rule for running distances and keep the zone training for the added run equivalent to the other run that occurs in that training week.

Hopefully that helps. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How much is too much?

I have read that one of the toughest things to do while training for a Triathlon is balancing out training for all 3 sports. At our very first training meeting they told us that it is important to:

 #1. be consistent and train 6 days per week
 #2. take a day to fully rest
#3. don't let it take over your life (which is easy to do)

I have definitely done all of the above and some weeks I have taken 2 days to rest.

What I have not been doing is sticking closely to the training schedule, because I feel that I actually need to do more just to able to get to where I should be at this point. For example, if I did not commit to getting into the pool for 3-5 days per week for 6 weeks, I would not be able to swim 10 laps in the pool and keep up with other beginner's in my Tri club. So, while some may think that I have been over training, I had to do what I had to do just to be able to be able to train. And now that I can swim, I still tire easily, so I can't slack off. I need to be able to swim without getting so tired and cover the distance (and maybe even a little bit more than the distance) of the race.

So, the question lies: How much is too much? I know that I probably should not be doing anything physical besides training for the Triathlon and I have decided to give up the extra stuff that I was doing to increase my endurance and get into better shape. I really don't want to risk hurting myself by over training and if I will do anything extra, then perhaps, I will spend more time on the bike as the training club leaders suggest. They really don't suggest adding more running days on, due to the extra pounding on your body. I do have some races coming up and I know that I have to get my lungs conditioned. I have only been running like 1 day a week and I need to increase that to 2-3.

Let's see how I have done so far this week:

Monday Plan: Rest  Actual: 30 min swim class (this was almost like a rest day--she talked a LOT)
Tuesday Plan: Bike 45 Actual: Spin 45 + Swim 30
Wednesday: Plan: Swim 30 Actual: Bike 45 + 30 min swim class
Thursday: Plan: Bike 45 Actual: Ran 30
Friday: Plan: Swim 30 Actual: Rest

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I went to the gym today with the plan to take a 45 minute spin class and a 30 minute swim. The swim was not supposed to be a part of my training plan today, but if I'm already at the gym, why not just hop in the pool?

Well, as I was getting dressed to swim, I thought that it would be nice to swim the distance of the race, which I think is equivalent to 16 laps. Or at least swim what Travel Diva swims (10 laps). I still have to figure out the whole laps thing. Like, is one lap considered getting from one end to the other or is a round trip consider a lap?? Any readers of this, please help me out if you know. So, as I jumped in, I thought, "what the hell, I will shoot to swim 20 laps (10 round trips) and see what I can do in 30 minutes. The primary goal was to never stop while swimming down the lane. Guess what happened yall? Come on.... GUESS!!

I DID IT!!! I FCUKING SWAM 20 LAPS TODAY!! 20 LAPS!!! Now, I did take long breaks when I reached the end and probably hung onto that wall like it was going to save my life, but I made it. And I made it TWENTY times in 30 minutes. Excuse me, but for a chick who could not swim just a few weeks ago, I think that warrants me tooting my own horn. TOOT... TOOT!...! Bowchickawowow.......

Monday, March 22, 2010

Solid as a...

There is one thing that I am not, and that is easily broken. I would like to consider myself solid as a rock, but solid as a St. Joe brick seems more fitting. I am human, so I do get down and a little wimpy at times, but do not be mistaken, ya girl is SOLID.

Today starts my 8th week of training for my Triathlon. 12 weeks to go! This is how much I've trained so far:

Week 1:  3hr 40 min
Week 2: 3hr 30 min
Week  3: 3hr 15min
Week 4: 6hr 30min
Week 5:6hr 30min
Week 6: 6hr
Week 7: 5hr 15min

Most of my training has been swimming. Now I must train harder on the bike and get my running up. I want to kick ass on the bike and finish the 3 miles of running like it is a walk in the park. Running is tough for me and I know that it will be hard after running and swimming, so I want to train to run farther, so the 3 miles won't be so hard.

Here's my training schedule for (this) week 8:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Bike 45min
Wednesday: Swim 30
Thursday: Bike 45
Friday: swim30
Saturday: Run 30
Sunday: 1hour bike + 10 min run

Now, I am a bit of an overachiever and I tend to do a little more, so I will probably do all of this, but do everything for an hour instead of just 30 or 45 minutes... and my rest day will be towards the end of the week. I'm in!! I'm  SOLID and ready to take on the challenge.... LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!