Category: Uncategorized

Starting all over again

Starting all over again

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21356642/starting%20all%20over%20again.mp3

Starting again sucks but sometimes is necessary for you to develop, move on and grow. Doesn’t get any easier the more you have to do it. But have faith and believe in your own strength to overcome whatever hurdles come your way. Here’s a song I wrote that kind of describes this bittersweet moment of realisation and acceptance. Interpret it as you may, but I hope you enjoy it.

Click on either link above (one is a download link!) or search the sidebar music links for “Starting all over again”

Lisa x

Moving Forwards…Backwards…

2012 has easily been the most eventful year of my life not only in personal achievements but in sporting achievements also. And when I say sporting achievements, I’m not talking about Olympic medals or world records, I’m talking about something MUCH more than that…personal goals. You see you can be first in a race and be disappointed because you didn’t meet YOUR goal and similarly you can be 50th and be absolutely delighted because that personal goal, that milestone of achievement that you have worked so hard for has finally been met.

So 2012. I had been searching for that sub 40minute 10k for some time and who would believe I would achieve it on the first leg of a Duathlon: 39:45. A couple weeks later running a 10k alone back home, on a hilly course I achieved it again in 39:09. Absolutely delighted. Milestone reached. Now onto attaining that sub-38….

Completed my first half marathon in June in Ventura, CA. Aimed for 1:30 but hoping for sub 1:35….achieved 1:26:45. DELIGHTED. Now to get that 1:25:00.

Completed my first half Ironman Triathlon. Time goal was for between 4:45-5:15. Achieved in 5:01. AMAZED and so delighted with result despite also getting heat stroke during the race and spending a considerable amount of time in the medical tent…

So why, when I started the year so well and so positively, have I finished the year with less than impressive results.

9/9/12 70.3 Triathlon: 5:38

17/11/12 10k race: 41:10

2/12/12 Half marathon: 1:37:54

Now each of these last three events may have indeed have had their own individual difficulties (HEAT, long hill, 40mph winds respectively) but still, after starting the year so well, I only feel like I’ve gone backwards and let myself down.

I know there are potentially many reasons for this and I know there is a lot I can do myself to fix issues I have had….still disappointing nonetheless.

So where from here. Well, right now I am looking to put one of the LONGEST seasons behind me (first potential reason for shitty recent results), and look forward to base training and easing off from high intensity training (second reason). I look forward to sleeping more (third reason) and eating a healthier, more nutritious diet (fourth reason), having recently switched to a dairy free (choice) in addition to Gluten free (medical) diet.

To end 2012 with some words of wisdom…founded from stupidity and experience….

  • Your racing season should not span the majority of the year. Your body needs to rest and recover PROPERLY…. Choose a handful (no more than 5) of races that you want to do well in and focus on these. Don’t be afraid to turn down some events!
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. When you are stressed mentally you become stressed physically. If you miss one session its not the end of the world. Take the time to treat your body and mind with respect and it will reward you with better results come race day.
  • Eat to Live don’t live to eat. Think about why you are eating whichever food you’re eating and what nutritious purpose it is serving you. Everything in moderation…
  • SLEEP. Disruptive sleep patterns have a negative impact on your life. Don’t burn the candle at both ends and try to relax a good hour before attempting to sleep. Late night gym sessions = not ideal.
  • Believe in your own physical and mental strength. When you believe you can be the greatest, great things will happen. If you allow yourself to become absorbed in self doubt, you will slowly succumb to the negativity, and your goals and dreams will fade into the distance. Be strong.

So as I write these ‘wise words’ I realise how late it is at night and that I must sleep. I hope this finds each of you in a better place at the end of 2012, or are you, like me, looking forward to a fresh start in 2013?

Goodnight America and Good morning Scotland

Lisa x

Pro Triathlete in the making…someday…

July 5th – The Fat Triathlete

I know from the word go that this will be my most controversial blog, but nevertheless here I go.

As a triathlete and runner, I am constantly thinking about fuel…. energy…. recovery…. I train up to 13hours per week, mostly intense cardiovascular exercise, pushing myself to the limit time and time again. I make sure to take in protein post exercise to aid recovery. I know to take on board carbohydrates when I feel myself ‘dipping’ into the “empty” zone, and I know that a little bit of fat is good for you.

Then why is it, when I look in the mirror, all I can see is ‘the fat triathlete’?

Last year, I lost a stone in weight. I felt faster, fitter, leaner, hotter….better than I’ve ever felt, but my word it was difficult. I ate a very bland diet, often skipping meals entirely, or having just some boiled broccoli for dinner. I somehow managed to fend off my cravings for chocolate, cakes and treats and resist late night snacks, all for the goal of achieving that lean athletic figure. I miss that Lisa. She had will power.

It’s crazy, because I have so much mental focus in other aspects of my life. My training is 100% focussed. My career has never been more on focus. So why can’t I keep this part together?

Since moving to the States, I know I’ve put back on that weight, hopefully not a stone, but not far off I don’t think. A number of factors contributed to this: living in a hotel and eating out a lot, astronomical portion sizes, hidden calories (I now realise that ‘healthy’ in the US is maybe not the same ‘healthy’ Im used to in the UK), loneliness, stress, fatigue……comfort eating.

I don’t want to hear the “but you’re not fat” or the “it’s just the transition” or “Lisa, you need the fuel and calories” because for anyone who’s ever looked in the mirror and hated what they saw, the last thing they want is someones opinion. They want change, they want a difference, they want to look in the mirror and be happy with what they see. This is a subject I do not like to talk about… image. And the main reason I feel I can talk about it on here is that this is a faceless diary if you will. The other reason is that, if I, as a semi-pro athlete (I have won money in some races so can probably say semi-pro?), who exercises several hours per week, eats healthily, is not classed as ‘overweight’ according to BMI or body fat percentage figures, feel this way about weight, image and food, how many others do?

Just yesterday, I read an article about how Jessica Ennis was said to be carrying excess weight – I mean that’s ridiculous – and Triathlete Hollie Avil, suffered an eating disorder after feeling pressure from coaches to lose excess weight. This doesn’t make me feel any better about myself, my image or my weight, but at least I know I’m not alone. And as I said before, I DO NOT want to have any sympathy comments relating to this posts, or worried/concerned comments because I will not be satisfied or happy until I am returned to, or have achieved a leaner, athletic figure.

I am disappointed with myself, because I will now go into the 70.3 Ironman, my debut at this distance, as ‘the fat triathlete’ and have nobody to blame but myself. Who knows, this may work to my advantage as no-one ever expects the underdog, or underpig as I feel just now, to come out on top, so maybe I’ll surprise them and myself.

I will however, be vigilant in my diet of lean meat, vegetables and WATER (and coffee), eating enough to fuel and no more.

I wish there were a magic wand, or a secret exercise plan to achieve my goal but the bottom line is that its simply hard work and WILL POWER. Careful diet AND exercise are what will achieve your ideal physique, not one without the other.

So, before you judge me or pity me or whatever your views on this post may be, please take a moment to respect that how you feel inside is (how I feel inside) cannot be changed by ANYONE BUT ME.

I will get there, it’ll just take some more blood, sweat and tears.

Lisa x

Back to the Music

Well, I don’t have a guitar or piano right now but have been playing around with garage band and also figuring out how to be all technical with the computer side of things and have managed to add a new track 🙂 please don’t be offended as its not nearly as poetic as the original, but just wanted to share. 

Lisa x

June 23rd – Re-assessing the situation…

Sometimes in your life, you have to take a BIG step back and re-assess the situation. Whether this be to re-jig your game plan at work or in training, re-evaluate your goals, or simply to breathe and take a big sigh……Aaaahhh.

I say this because last night and this morning, I have been hit with overwhelming fatigue. Last night I couldn’t even stay awake to eat and had to sleep for a couple hours then get up again for dinner. This morning I naively got up at 5am thinking I’d be fine, but with swollen glands, blurry eyes and this overwhelming tiredness I stopped. I reassessed the situation as follows:

What I have to do: 3hours bike, 30mins run fast off bike

How do I feel: Exhausted, on the brink of illness,

How will I feel if I don’t train: Terrible, guilty, but I might recover easier?

Compromise: 2 more hours in bed to sleep + actually eat breakfast and let it settle before heading out + be prepared to shorten bike if heat outside gets too much.

Result: Session achieved and compromised.

I think the main factor in all this is COMPROMISE. So Im sitting here now, letting breakfast settle and mentally preparing for the session. I know it’ll be close to 100degrees fahrenheit by the time I get to the run but I just make sure I accommodate and prepare for that.

So aside from this mornings episode, this overwhelming fatigue has been building up for a couple weeks now, certainly  a wake-up call… or go to sleep call I should really say! I hope other people find it difficult too though, juggling full-time career, 12hour of training, eating, sleeping, other monotonous errands that accompany moving half way across the world and into a completely new environment, and its not just me?!

This week i bought ‘Racing Weight: How to get Lean for Peak Performance’…..probably too late for this race but will let you know if its worth a read. I have found it difficult to follow ordinary diet plans or fads due to the volume and intensity of my training but I think its going to really come down to how you actually manage your hunger.

ANYWAY BORING BITS ASIDE!!!!

Last weekend I travelled to Ventura, California for my first out of state event and first ever half marathon. Not to sound too much like an annoying triathlete off the youtube video “S*** Triathletes say” (if you haven’t seen this and know a couple triathletes or cyclists, you should watch this, its pretty accurate), but I really was looking at this like a training run, in preparation for HIM (Half IronMan). Because there is a half marathon at the end AFTER the bike and swim, I wanted to make sure I knew what the distance felt like, that I knew I could hold a steady pace for and so I knew what to prepare for mentally. I wanted to aim for AROUND the 1:30:00 mark, but because it was a new experience I wasn’t going to beat myself up if I didn’t manage that. The race itself was great; the sea breeze and humidity was delicious and a welcome change from the dry desert heat. I followed my fellow Ninja’s advice: keep it steady for miles 0-4, push on miles 7-10 and then I actually can’t remember what the instruction was after that….maybe just finish?? Oh dear I must listen better and remember better next time… So anyway I did that, and then picked up the pace slightly with 1mile to go. My team-mate Priscilla who was running the 5k, joined me with around 800m to go, and helped coax me in through the final stretch to finish in a time of 1:27:45 and place 1st Female finisher overall! DELIGHTED!!!

After a huge bowl of GF pasta in Santa Barbara (which I must say is a beautiful town and will have to go back!!!) we drove back to Las Vegas, stopping only once for a milkshake and fries. On sunday, the effects of sitting in a car for a number of hours after running a half marathon were less than welcome, so a day chilling out by the pool was on the cards.

Another experience this week was swimming at Lake Mead. I met fellow ninja but no relation, Amy Leonard at the lake, and she had already swam so I started out putting on my wetsuit so I could also practice this for HIM. I had to cut our conversation short however and get into the water….imagine standing in a full sleeved and legged neoprene wetsuit, in direct sunlight in 100+degree heat…..I actually thought I was melting, like physically melting away! However swim was good apart from the gradually setting sun blinding me on each turn; no fish to be seen and no dead bodies as suggested by many folks probably trying to scare me but nonetheless achieving said scare mongering!

So after a hard working week and a hard training week, of which I still have 5hours of training left and I have to work tomorrow also 😦 I have re-assessed the situation and created new goals…bed by 9.30pm especially if I am up at 5am for training, and stay on top of timing for nutrition!!!

So for now, I am off to wash dishes, train, run some errands then head to the Ninja BBQ/gathering this afternoon to RELAX. Bed by 10pm maybe as I won’t be up at 5am tomorrow 🙂

To all my Scottish friends and family, I mis you very much, special shout to Laura Sarkis who is nearly finished the Celtman!!! And to Rhea and Ryan who have their engagement party this weekend!

Love, Lisa x

June 3rd – Finding my feet…

………..and…….breathe……….

I have been in Las Vegas for four weeks now, and so far, in no particular order, I have:

  • Started working Full-time as Physical Therapist
  • Opened a bank account (harder than it sounds!)
  • Taken out a lease on an apartment, collected keys and begun to move in (begun/began??)
  • Bought a car
  • Bought a bed, sofa and mattress….the essentials
  • Got a ‘cell phone’
  • Placed 2nd overall, 1st in age-group in local 5km running event
  • Placed 1st overall in Amica Lake Las Vegas Sprint Triathlon
  • Entered 70.3 Ironman Wisconsin, booked flights and hotel and started training plan
  • Become a Ninja/joined a running race team (Ninja Endurance Racing)
  • Met and just about have joined the Colavita Cycling team
  • Been abseiling (repelling), hiking and zip lining in the Nevada desert
  • Got heatstroke after said abseiling, hiking and zip lining
  • Learned that you say ‘sweater’ not ‘jumper’, you don’t ‘nip to the loo’ you ‘go to the restroom’ and ‘garage’ sounds more like ‘gar-aah-je’
  • Been mistaken for Irish, Australian, English, Swiss
  • Been complimented on ‘how good my english is’….awkward

All in all its been hectic but Im really starting to get used to my new life over here. I do miss my friends and family back home but I know they’re proud of me and want me to be follow my dreams and ambition. I also feel that training here in Vegas, with the altitude, extreme heat, high winds, 0% humidity, mountainous surroundings and brilliant facilities (for example, I live next door to a 50m outdoor training pool) I am hopeful that I can improve my athletic potential or at least begin my journey towards developing as an athlete.

So what’s next…..

After a successful Sprint Triathlon today at Lake Las Vegas, I can now focus 100% on the next BIG event:

Ironman 70.3 Racine, Wisconsin

1.2mile Swim/56mile Bike/13.1mile Run

The Goal: 1st in age category or achieve roll-down qualification for….

Ironman 70.3 World Championships Las Vegas, Nevada

The combination of ‘The Goal’ and the fact I have never competed at this distance before, coupled with unknown weather/water/air conditions in Racine, I know this challenge will be…. well…. challenging…

So here I am, psyched for the training and the challenge, scared of failure or the dreaded ‘DNF’ and filled with unknowns I need to try and turn into knowns in the next few weeks. Any tips on what to wear, what to eat, training tips, diet plans to lose those last few punds, what to aim for time wise, or words of wisdom from my athlete friends would be most appreciated (comments below please)

Lisa x

Training Quote of the Week:

You can quit and no one will care….. but you will always know…