Friday, May 6, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Triathlons, Thin (and Not-so-Thin) Food Writers

Lauren and I are ready to Run 10K over Cooper River Bridge April 2011
Make mine a double

What can one say? Photo on the left? Summer, 2008. While those two margaritas weren't both for me, they might as well have been...That's a hard photo to post here...What happened after that? Well, I moaned about being overweight. Lots of good moaning does, huh? Then in Fall, 2009, more than a year later, I decided to join a relay team to raise money to fight amyloidosis (you can read about why I did that here on my cousin Amy's blog; her husband, Paul Hawthorne was killed by amyloidosis in December, 2008). The relay team was doing the NYC Nautica Triathlon, and I was committed to doing the swim.

This meant two things. I would have to be able to swim 1500m (yes, in the Hudson) AND I would have to be in NYC in a skin-tight wetsuit.

The  months between October 2009 and late July 2010 were filled with lap swims and, starting in April, a new eating plan (thank you, WW). By the time I entered the Hudson, I'd dropped 25 lbs and felt good. The race was awesome, I wasn't traumatized by being in NYC in a wetsuit, and it was an incredible experience. I turned in my wetsuit that day and said: never again. It was fun, but I was no athlete.

You know, until 12 hours later when I said: Sign me up for the whole thing!! That's right. I committed to swimming 1500m, biking 40K and running 10K in the NYC Nautica Tri 2011. Only trouble was, I couldn't run. Something had to be done.

I started Couch to 5K (C25K) on the reco of lots of people. I like to refer to it as couch potato to 5K. First week, you only run 60 seconds at a time (followed by walk intervals). But by week 9, you are running 30 minutes straight. No one, NO ONE, was more surprised than I was by this achievement. So in November, I ran a 5K Turkey Trot. Then I ran a 5K with a group I am involved with here in Charlotte, Circle de Luz. Then I ran a 10K Race (Cooper River Bridge Run) with my friend, Lauren, who is in the photo with me and the one who mentioned Cooper River to start with.

Now I am on week 3 of a 16-week program prepping for the whole deal. It's not easy, but I am stronger than ever, healthier than ever, and I can run now. 60-plus minutes at a time.

My point (and I do have one, as Ellen likes to say)--I didn't have to be an unhealthy food writer. In fact, when I started in kitchens, I was thin. I tasted everything, but pretty much ate nothing, I was on my feet for 10 hours a day, lifting heavy stockpots, working the hot hot hot grill, then when I was off (pre-kid, pre-house, pre-too many other things), I worked out, I walked all over NYC--I took time for myself.

I joke that eating is my job, and it IS. But I also have to remember that I while I do pretty much have to eat everything, I don't have to eat ALL of everything.

Add that to the fact that I now remember how important it is to do something for me (the workouts). Somehow, it's easy to forget that for a lot of mothers (especially; I am sure plenty of dads lose sight of the need to take time for themselves). And if, in the meantime, I can make my workouts and the race itself be part of a big cause, like fighting a disease that made my cousin a widow and single mother in her 30s? That works for me.

And if you are STILL with me here, I'll make a quick pitch. I'm trying to raise $1,000 for Paul's Posse--the money goes to the Amyloidosis Research Foundation. You can donate by clicking on the "support a member of Paul's Posse" link on this page. Once on the linked page, select the "donation" button, select the amount and then you'll have to check the "Additional Information" box--enter that the donation is in memory of Paul Hawthorne, and the person to notify of the donation is Barb Freda--that is how the foundation keeps track of our individual fundraising efforts.

(BTW, My goal is for every Friday to be "Photo Friday"--I promise not to talk so much because the picture is supposed to tell the story--I just had a lot to say about getting into triathlon training...)


Anjuli said...

This was an amazing post!!!! I stayed with you right to the last word. BRAVO!!! Great thoughts- and good reminders!!

Jan said...

What an inspiration! Yay to a healthier you! Wow!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Very inspiring!

Lisa said...

What an inspiration you are! And, yes, very brave to post photos. I wish we lived closer to one another and you could coach one of my 5Ks. I've taken them through the Running Room but not for several years. You go, girl.

Unknown said...

I just have to say: I love this!