Tuesday, 12 June 2012

An expensive startup

I was thinking the other day about how when I start something, I like to go at it 100% and give it my all.  This could be said to be true for both my favourite hobbies at the moment, baking cakes/cupcakes and triathlon training.  I've been very reserved with my triathlon training stuff so far and so here is what I've put out so far

Actual running shoes (clearance rack - lucky find) - 80$
Running pants (I started training in April - it was colder also clearance rack) - 35$
Shorts (clearance) - 25$
Good tank top (clearance) - 20$
Running bra (can't skimp here, because nature didn't either) - 85$
3/4 length cheap walking pants - 15$
3 tank tops, cheap and baggy - 28$ (all 3)
Bathing suit (on sale) - 55$
Goggles - 24$
Bike (over 20 years old) - 50$
Tune up for bike - 50$
Bike seat that doesn't make me feel violated in all new ways - 30$
Helmet - 35$
Sunglasses (gotta love my Oakeys - not a typo.. ) - 15$
5k Army run entry fee - 30$
Triathlon entry fee - 105$
Wetsuit rental (oh yes - open water swims get cold) - 40$

I'm sure I forgot a thing or two in this list - and there are still a few things I need to pick up before race day (running belt with water bottle, good socks for the triathlon etc...)  I can't believe I've already spent over 720$ on this..  At least most of this stuff will be good for a long time.  I could look at it as being expensive, but I could also look at it like this.  It's for my health, for my family, for my kids, so I can be around to watch them grow up, so I can run beside them as they pedal off on their bikes for the first time without huffing and puffing for air.  It's about being a positive role model for them and not a hypocrite saying exercise then sitting on the couch all day watching TV, sipping coke.  It's a tiny investment and it will reap some of the biggest rewards of anything, and thinking about it, the pride I feel when I cross the line at the triathlon in September - this will have payed for itself 100%.  I will buy the photos and remember it with pride, even if I never go back and do it again, I'll have an amazing sense of accomplishment.

After having 3 kids and being 250lbs at the end of my last pregnancy (220 ish when the baby was all gone and the water retention dissipated), I got fed up of feeling like a blimp.  I still have the loose belly skin that jiggles WAY too much when I run, and I don't know if it will ever go back to being as firm as it was, even if I work out a ton - doesn't matter to me anymore, it's a badge of pride for having carried my three kids, the problem I had is that though after 9 months you give birth, the cookies and cakes and ice cream don't quite come off the same way, and I have a killer sweet tooth.

I started back at karate in December 2011, just 6 weeks after the baby was born, and since then (most of it being since I took up the running training) I have managed to get down to the 193ish range.  I dont' work by weight though, the scale lies.  The changes that I see are in the mirror.  First, the maternity pants didn't fit anymore, even though they always fit me between the other kids.  The summer shorts I bought before getting pregnant this last time literally fall down if I don't have a belt on.  I only have 2 rolls in the front and they are going away quickly.  The extra skin on the underside of my arm is receding a bit and firming up, my shoulders look stronger.  I took 3 pairs of jeans out of the pre-pregnancy pants bag - and now they are even getting loose.  My face is regaining a shape, my pouch under my chin has almost gone away.  Most of all, I feel great, I wouldn't trade this feeling for the world.  I have about 25 lbs to go to my personal target, and it is within grasp.

Today for the first time, thanks to C25k, I ran 5 minutes without stopping.  It was hard.. damn hard, but I did it.  I didn't give up, I pushed through the pain and was proud of myself at the end of the 5 minutes (that wasn't the whole run, just one short part of the morning torture session).  I call it torture, because in reality, it hurts, it's hard and I stink at the end, but I've got a stupid smile plastered to my face when I hear "congratulations, you have completed your run today" come into my headset.

I think almost anyone could do it - and everyone should.  This is one of those times when complacency can kill, and I have more reasons I ever thought I would have to live for.

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