Archive for April, 2009

Turning 50 and my RealAge

Yes, I’m going to make you read all the way to the end of the post to find out my RealAge (or you can just skip down if you’re impatient)!

Last year, just before I turned 49, I stumbled upon the RealAge website, designed by the “You” doctors, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen. There is a test on this site where you can determine your “Real Age” based on the way you live your life, outside stress, even how fast you drive and if you have pets. I thought it was kinda cool, so I took the test, honestly. Meaning I answered the questions honestly. I did not tell them I weighed 110 pounds…Seriously, who would know? But I told the truth. I also answered honestly about my then-sedentary lifestyle and the fact that I liked to eat Entenmanns cake for breakfast.

When I got my RealAge a year ago, I wasn’t too surprised that while I was only officially turning 49, I was really more like 52.3, based on the information I provided. I don’t smoke, and I only drink occasionally. I was fortunate to only be on two medications, and while my blood pressure and cholesterol were on the high side, they weren’t dangerously so. And I thought, well that’s not sooooo bad.

In July, totally unrelated, I decided to get a handle on my health and joined Weight Watchers and started moving, walking at first. And now I’m running, working out 4-5 times a week (most of the time) and I’ve lost 50 pounds. I’m down to one medication, and I’ve even been able to cut that dose in half, my cholesterol is still a little high but a lot lower than it was, and my blood pressure is normal. Chronic aches and pains are gone and I have tons more energy than I did a year ago.

I’m turning 50 in a couple of weeks (May 18). And when I took the RealAge test again the other night, my new RealAge is….drumroll please…… 45.1!

I’ve been taking care of myself for 9 months now and I’ve added 7 years to my life. How cool is that? And by the way, I still drive too fast and have other behaviors I could modify to get even younger.

It really takes the sting out of turning 50.

Try it. You might find out some very interesting things about yourself. I know I’m glad I’ve made some changes. Plus, they have some very cool info on the site as well.

Go to realage.com, become a member and see how old or young you really are!

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Back to the Grind

After my race last Saturday, I took some time off from working out and struggled with the right food choices. But I’m back on track today.

Post-race, I had a scheduled colonoscopy for this past Friday. I was very nervous, couldn’t eat anything but liquids for a couple of days and decided that since by the time I felt like getting back to the gym, it was Wednesday and then I wouldn’t be able to work out on Thursday or Friday, I would just take a week’s vacation from the whole thing.

I got to sleep in and that was good. But I was really stressed because of the test (which was fine, and I was relieved to know that everything is as it should be) and maybe if I’d gotten to the gym I would have decreased some of that stress.

This morning, however, I knew that if I was ever going to get back into my “good for me” routine, I had to get out and exercise. I’m not an exercise fanatic. I can always think of at least a dozen other things I’d rather do than put my sneakers on and sweat.

This morning to get out the door, I figured I’d start with a walk, and even though it was really warm already at 7:30 am, I was inspired by another runner going by and ended up running most of the two and a half miles. And that felt good.

I’ll go swimming tomorrow morning and I’m back to my routine this week. Getting out there today, while I’ll never admit to loving running, felt right. I definitely feel better when I get those workouts in.

Race Splits

Event Power posted race splits for last Saturday’s Mini Mightyman race, which I’d been waiting for anxiously since that day.

My transition times were a little odd, but I was more pleased with my run times than I thought I’d be. The race was a 1 mile run, 6 mile bike, 1 mile run. My times were 10:48 for the first mile run, 24:37 for the 6 mile bike and 12:44 for the second mile run.

My transition times were only seconds (19 and 21, respectively), which I know can’t be right, even though I didn’t have to change sneakers or dry off…still had to rack my bike and get my helmet on and off. I’m wondering if some of my transition time got sucked up into my bike time.

Either way, for my first time out, I’m pleased with my times. They were far from the fastest in the race—the winner finished in 25:06, only 40 seconds longer than my bike time. But he was much younger and I’m guessing this wasn’t his first race! Excuses, Excuses!

I like having the split times. I now have a starting point I can gauge my future progress on. Like, for example, if I can run a 10:48 mile once, I can do that again. That’s of course provided I ever get back to the gym!

Backlash

I hit two of my very big goals last week on this fat to fit journey. I hit the 50-pound mark, a full month before my 50th birthday, and I completed my first duathlon (my wonderful triathlete brother says I can still consider myself a TRIathlete since it was supposed to be a triathlon and they took away my strongest leg (the swimming!).

On Saturday, I was exhilarated pretty much all day. I had to keep pinching myself–I could actually stop worrying about the race because it was done and I finished it. All of the things I worried about didn’t happen and  I made it. All of the hard work that went into it got me across the finish line. And I learned a lot about how to train for the next one too. Big lessons… like running on a treadmill isn’t even close to running on the road from an endurance standpoint. I pushed myself though for the past six months to become stronger and fitter and to do things I never thought I could do. And that feels great.

This week though has been weird. I’ve been struggling to eat right, after a triumphant day of unchecked eating after the race–which I’d planned for–and even though I keep promising myself I’ll get back to the gym, I haven’t gone since Saturday. Sunday was a planned day off, but Monday and today, I just couldn’t seem to drag my butt out of bed. It could be that it’s cold, windy and rainy here again, or it could just be that I’m feeling no particular urgency to go. The next race is in August.

At any rate, after working so hard and feeling so good, I’m feeling like the rest of this week has been somewhat of a setback. I’ve been towing the food/exercise line for 9 months and this weekend, I realized just how easy it is to slip back into old habits really easily. I’ve been eating better the rest of the week, but I don’t want to. It’s been a challenge. I guess to be successful, this is something I really will have to be diligent about for the rest of my life.

I can do it. I just need to set my next goal. And get back to the gym. After all, I’m not done yet.

Race Results and the Magic Number – 49

smiling because I finally found how to exit the transition area. oh and I'm almost done.

smiling because I finally found how to exit the transition area. oh and I'm almost done.

I did it! I seriously did it! I know this was a small race, but for me, it was huge, and it’s just the beginning.

I finished my race (the April 2009 Mini Mightyman Duathlon) this morning in 48 minutes, 47 seconds, but most importantly, I finished! The weather was perfect: sunny, warm and very little wind and the course was pretty flat, except for the hill at the beginning of the run, which, trust me, didn’t help me one bit.

My runs were tough, but apparently not as bad as I thought, and my bike was strong. I felt better on the bike today than I have in any of my workouts. I was even passing people!

I met some great ladies (those of us who were slow runners) while we were waiting to start, the event was really well-run (thanks Event Power), and the volunteers were super-supportive and encouraging. On top of that, I had my hubby cheering me on, along with my triathlete brother. They are the best.

Crossing that finish line is one of the best experiences I can remember. This is the first race I’ve ever done. I hope that each additional race will be equally as satisfying.

So what’s with the number 49? Even though Event Power had me in the 50-54 age group, I’m still 49…. for another month. I’ve lost 49 pounds (officially 50.2, but I’m sure after hitting the diner today after the race, it’s 49 again), and I finished my race in 48.47, pretty darn close to 49 minutes if you ask me. I just found that interesting.

I’m taking tomorrow off, but I’m back to the gym/road on Monday. There’s another race in June (which I’m going to train for but don’t know if I’ll be ready for because it’s longer and I still need a lot of work on the run), but I’m definitely doing this race again in August and hopefully the pool will be open, so I can swim too.

Overall, it was incredible, and I am so glad I challenged myself to take this on.

sheer determination as I closed in on the finish line. yay!

sheer determination as I closed in on the finish line. yay!

Tomorrow is race day

It’s here! Race day is tomorrow. I went tonight and picked up my registration packet and got my body marked. My number is 59, which I didn’t realize they put on the left arm and right leg in heavy duty magic marker. I feel so official.

Then I came home and stress ate. Not bad stuff but more than I had planned. A cup of macaroni, string beans, a hard boiled egg, an apple and a fudgesicle. I was trying to pay attention to what my body was craving, but I think it was more stress that had me eating and now I’m full right before bed. I suppose that’s not a bad thing. I don’t like to eat before I work out, so hopefully tonight’s fare will keep me energized for tomorrow.

I’m still really anxious about the race. I’m sure I’ll feel this way until its done. Hopefully the adrenaline will make me move faster than I do at workouts.

Bottom line is I’m as ready as I’m going to be. And I have to just keep telling myself that this is just the beginning. I will finish tomorrow. And with each race after this, I’ll get better. After all, I have to start somewhere.

And as of my Thursday Weight Watchers Weigh In, I’m down 50.2 pounds, a full 32 days before my 50th birthday! Can’t beat that.

4 days and counting

So as I mentioned, they changed my race yesterday. It’s no longer a triathlon, it’s a duathlon due to technical difficulties with the pool. And the swimming was my strongest discipline. Oh well.

Anyway, I got up this morning and did the race lengths for my workout: 1 mile run, 6 mile bike, 1 mile run. And it didn’t kill me.

First mile was pretty strong, very little walking. Bike was good too. Second mile was tougher, especially right off the bike, but I completed that one in 13 minutes. And I finished the whole thing in about 54 minutes, transitions and all.

The weather was good this morning. Cloudy, but warmer than it’s been and only a breeze. Hallelujah!

The weather’s supposed to be good on Saturday too. Now that I know I can finish the distances this way, I feel better, and I’m actually looking forward to the race.

I’ve decided to sign up for the June 7 race too. I really want to get this triathlon thing under my belt. That race will be a challenge: 750 meter open water swim, 11-mile bike and a 3.1 mile run. Lots of training in my near future. But that’s a good thing.

I turn 50 in May, and I may just be in the best shape of my life. I still have 20 or so pounds to get rid of, but I’ve already lost 49, and I’m feeling good and strong these days. It’s all good.