|Posted by secondwindconditioning on August 12, 2016 at 6:40 AM||comments (0)|
"Open Water Swimming: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!!
So, I have less than a month for my very first tri and I'm not going to lie, I am a little worried...worried and scared.
Let's start with the GOOD...hmmm, lake water is refreshing!! That's it...that's all I have on the positives of swimming in a lake. I can now move on to the Bad and the Ugly.
Let it be known that it has been years since I've been in a lake and I certainly wasn't swimming laps. Perhaps I jumped off a dock then doggy paddled to the shore, however even that is questionable.
I thought for some reason since I knew how to swim when I was sixteen, I could pick it up again easily....you know, like riding a bike. Let's just say this is not the case.
Let's talk about the BAD. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this swimming thing. I've always loved watching swim events during the Olympics and more recently watching the awesome women of Mommy's/Babes in Motion swim in Gulliver's Lake. Great stride and good form, this group of mine, really makes it look easy.
It may sound funny but out of the three sports in a triathlon, swimming is the sport that I'm drawn to the most. I can envision myself being really good at it...I want to be good at it. I feel that I may possibly have some potential at being good at it, however I'm not seeing the progress that I thought I would.
Which leaves me to the UGLY--I'll be here for a while. What the "F" am I going to do if I can't swim 375 meters in the friggin lake? Can you tell, anxiety is setting in?
There was only a handful of women who were there when I went to Gulliver's for the first time. We were doing entrance and exit drills. Simply enter the water either being at the front of the pack, middle or back, swim around the dock and exit. Do this 3 times. What a nightmare!!! I tried to be cool and remain calm but that all fell to shit when I jumped into the lake and took in a mouth full of water. BRUTAL!! Sadly, it got worse. Barely made it to the dock, doggy paddled around the dock, then flipped on my back to make it to shore again, all of this with an audience, of course, because clearly I was the last one out of the lake. It's a bit of a blur, but I think we did the drill again and it didn't get any better. I would like to say it was postpartum hormones, but when Coach Gail asked how I was feeling, I cried on her shoulder like my five month old. Deflated, humiliated and discouraged was definitely how I was feeling. The only thing that kept me there was the fact that despite my poor performance, I had the MBIM crew cheering me on, congratulating me for coming out and supporting me with there kind words.
How can I give up when I have support like that??
On my drive home, I reflected and realized how badly I wanted to accomplish this goal.
I've wanted to do a triathlon for so long. It never really seemed like a possibility because I'm not and never was great at any of the three sports that a triathlon entails. Everyone has a story and let's just say mine has lead me here.
I'm going to keep an open mindset and say I'm not a good swimmer....YET!!
I will continue to practice. Fingers crossed that I see you at the finish line ladies! ����
Till next time,
|Posted by secondwindconditioning on July 15, 2016 at 12:30 AM||comments (1)|
Let's talk workout gear.
Workout gear...you’re either a junkie for it or not. The question is; is it necessary for ones performance?
Maybe this stems from my single days or the fact that I had extra money to burn or possibly being a little vain-- who knows? I’ve always liked looking like I belonged to the activity I was participating in; however this came at a hefty price tag. If I was playing basketball, I needed high tops, you know to protect my ankles. For yoga, I needed Lulu Lemon attire, sweatband included because who goes to yoga class with a pair of shorts?? Crazy! When I joined a running group with a friend, off to the running store I went for every possible thing a runner may need.... water bottle belt, reflective shorts, shirt, jacket, running hat and this continued with every activity I tried.
You might be thinking, is all this necessary? My answer, A big fat NO, especially when you are trying a new sport, activity or hobby for the first time. Let’s keep it real--sometimes you don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on equipment and attire. Or if you’re in mom mode, you might feel guilty indulging on yourself when you could put it towards the family. Then there are others like my husband, who doesn’t give a hoot about his attire or fancy equipment. His work out gear consists of old ratty t-shirts and shorts from the 90’s. I try to tell him that his outfit doesn’t wick away sweat but he always reminds me that winners are made up of drive and dedication not dry fit fibers. Lol!! Hey whatever works I guess.
Let's take a look at training for a triathlon. This is a sport with 3 combined activities. How would one be able to afford being part of this? I may have mentioned that participating in a triathlon is a “little” intimating to me, but equally intimidating was the thought of possibly spending thousands of dollars on equipment. I can happily say that MBIM eased my anxiety and assured me that as long as I have “air in my tires, a helmet, runners and a bottle of water I’m good to go”. It’s so admirable to see women that don’t have race bikes whizzing by like rock stars, or women who choose not to wear cycling shoes and are still breaking times, or my favourite swimming in the lake with no wetsuit. Amazing!! No excuses will stop these athletes from achieving their goals and I’m proud to be part of it.
In a nutshell:
Always consider your wants over needs...Do you really need the $80 Under Armour t.shirt or will the ones on sale do the trick?
Don’t compromise on safety...if you are a night runner make sure you have reflective gear.
Choose wisely on what you want to invest in and know this can be done over time.
If you are part of a group where you feel like you don’t quite belong (attire, appearance or skill) find another group because you should feel welcomed and encouraged not discouraged.
Know that people have achieved great things with just a pair of running shoes...our Canadian hero Terry Fox
So… if you see someone running or cycling whose outfit doesn’t match their shoes, cut them some slack and instead give them a honk of encouragement. They are on their way to great things.
Till next time,
|Posted by secondwindconditioning on June 25, 2016 at 7:25 AM||comments (0)|
Mommy on the Move
Being a Newbie...Exciting or Nerve Racking?
So it's been a couple weeks since I joined the Mommy's/Babes in Motion. I must say I'm getting more comfortable with my abilities and also realizing I’m training with a group of women who genuinely want to support me, and willingly share their stories, struggles and accomplishments.
Although I’m very social, I would have to say that I’m also the type of person who gets embarrassed very easily, especially when I'm not good at something. The truth is, it’s hard to get out there and know you’re the slowest runner or that you’re trying your hardest but "your bike" can't seem to catch up to the rest of the group. Let's not even talk about the changing of the gears.
There's always a sense of vulnerability when you join a new group or start something new. There is the potential of not fitting in, not succeeding or simply feeling like a dumb ass. With our ever changing society focused on healthy living, it's refreshing to know that for the most part, people are pretty accepting of individuals trying to make healthier life changes. This is certainly true for the Mommy’s/Babes in Motion group and many other groups that I have recently joined. Maybe it's the fact that I’m surrounded by women, or other moms who can sympathize with the daily struggles of trying to find balance between work, family and a little ‘me’ time. Being older also helps put things into perspective and allows me to see what is most important.
I saw a quote on FB and I think it holds true.
"Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another."
Amen to that. It's so inspiring to see women succeeding, and so uplifting to get hoots and hollers as you trek along at a personal best or merely trying your hardest not to stop moving. Positive energy and good vibes are contagious. When you find a group, a friend, or a trainer who makes you feel good about yourself, who believes in you and pushes you to try new things, you know you’re in the right place.
Reflections, Tips and Advice that I’ve learned thus far:
I guess being a Newbie isn’t all that bad, especially when you got a good support system. Don’t be afraid to try something new. As for me I will keep putting along, one baby step at a time.
Till Next Time,
|Posted by secondwindconditioning on June 14, 2016 at 4:20 PM||comments (1)|
Here's to Bucket List Checking
Hmm, so where do I start?
Growing up I've always been pretty active; participated on many school sports teams, rowed for my university, and enjoyed going to the gym. I continued this in my twenties and thirties, got really interested in yoga, spinning, and beach volleyball... tried it all! My down fall...CONSISTENCY, CONFIDENCE, TIME, POOR EATING....really, a whole lot of excuses!!
So here I am...just turned 39, had my third baby, on maternity leave, weighing my heaviest to date and out of shape. With all this stacked up against me, I still had a burning itch to doing something great, something motivating, something inspiring, for me, my children and those around me.
So what did I do, you might ask??? I took a leap of faith and joined a group called the Mommy's/Babes In Motion. It's an all women's triathlon group. Yup you heard me right.
Do I know how to swim? Ummmm does taking swimming lessons when I was a kid count? Can I ride a bike? Yes, but I have been more focused on teaching my girls how to ride their bikes than me actually being on one. Do I know how to run? Well....barely... slow as molasses.
What was it that made me join this group of dedicated women? Why a triathlon group? Have you ever seen someone or watched something on TV and said, ‘Wow, I wish I could do that!’ ‘That looks like fun’ or ‘I used to be good at that, why did I ever stop?’ These thoughts have popped into my head many times, but on this particular occasion I was unable to shake them.
I met a mom around five years ago. She was a friend of a friend and we got chit chatting around the sandbox as our kids played. She told me she was part of group called Mommy's/Babes in Motion and that she was doing triathlons. WHAT??? Amazement was my first reaction, then I proceeded to bombard her with questions. Her last response to me was, “You should join the group, it's really great!”
Join the group?? What?? This mom is crazy--lol. I politely declined but never forgot the offer.
Soooo, it took me five years to commit, but I finally said yes. I iMessaged that mom, (yes she is still part of the group) and my new adventure has begun.
Can you relate? Are you looking for a healthier happy path? If you're ready to try something new, let's motivate and keep each other accountable... We can do it one baby step at a time.
Till next time,
|Posted by secondwindconditioning on March 6, 2016 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
I started training for Triathlons in 2013 when I was looking for something new to try. With three kids under the age of 5 at home and working part-time, I was looking to do something for myself that would get me back on a healthy track. I came across a posting on an online Mom’s forum about a Women’s only triathlon training group (MBIM!) led by experienced coaches. The sport caught my interest immediately, but I hesitated to join at first. My first thought was I need to learn how to swim! Never having taken swim lessons as a child, and always avoiding the deep end of pools, this was taking a big giant leap outside of my comfort zone. I couldn’t swim 25m without being completely out of breath never mind open water swimming in a lake! But I wanted to try it, so I set my goal --to complete a Triathlon. And in the process I would learn how to swim.
The other obstacle that I came across during my first year of training, was figuring out how I was going to fit in training into a busy family/work life. These were the principles I stood by..
1. PRIORITIZE. The first step is to put your health as TOP priority on your 'to do list'. It is so important to take time for yourself in order to better care for other people in your life and perform at your best. I'm speaking especially to new moms and moms with young children, who are often filled with guilt for taking one night a week to exercise or indulge in self-care. It is very easy to fill up your day with housework and errands, but it never ends! There will never be a better time than now to start taking control of your own health. If you feel better, so does everyone else around you.
2. HAVE A BUDDY SYSTEM. My first season training I signed up with friend who I met through a mom’s group. We kept each other motivated by staying committed to the weekly training day just by showing up! We carpooled to training sessions, celebrated the small victories, and supported each other through the ups and downs of being busy moms trying their best. It was also wonderful to find a swimming buddy. Early into the training season, Team Leader Sarah graciously offered to meet me at the pool weekly to help with my swim technique. She gave me the support I needed to boost my confidence in the water in time to complete my first race in a just a few months. Thanks Sarah! I’m forever grateful for the time commitment you made to teach to me how to swim!
3. MAKE IT ROUTINE. A regularly scheduled time will make it more likely that you will commit to exercising and move you that much closer to your goal. Meeting up every Tuesday night in rain or shine, helped to keep me on track. My kids knew it was mom's night out to exercise. I looked forward to Tuesdays nights because it was fun and it came to a point where I felt I was missing out if I didn’t go. Schedule it into your calendar and tell your family this is YOUR night!
4. INCLUDE THE FAMILY. During my first training season, my son and I made it a Saturday morning ritual to get up early and head out for a bike ride or run. He enjoyed biking while I ran beside him. We would stop off at neighbourhood parks, and he would want to play on the playset for a short while. So I would continue running in large circles around the play area keeping an eye on him but also keeping my heart rate up. Occasionally, my husband would meet up with us on his bike with my twin girls in tow, and we would stop off for breakfast together before heading home. It felt amazing to finish a workout and be rewarded immediately with a family meal together.
My kids enjoyed coming out to watch my races. My son showed interest in participating in his own Triathlon race so we signed him up for the SunRype Kids Triathlon event, and he absolutely loved it! My journey into Triathlons not only helped me gain my confidence to swim in open water, but I made new friends, had fun, and positively influenced my kids to try something new and stay in motion! I am so looking forward to being a Team Leader this year and join you in this journey together.
|Posted by secondwindconditioning on February 19, 2016 at 6:55 AM||comments (0)|
I suppose the best thing to blog about is something you are passionate about – for me that is SUGAR! Before I go any further, I’m only expressing my own views and beliefs and I am NOT a nutritionist, physician, dietician or any other educated or licensed being in anything food related. What I am though is a person who really loves to eat and learn about food. I love to cook and bake and try new recipes. I am also at very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also a person who has battled for years with a very unhealthy relationship to the one thing I love and need to survive; food. All that has brought me on a journey along which I’ve scoured a lot of resources to shape my mindset around food and sugar.
I will start with my confession that I am a horrible sugar addict and on top of that I have battled binge eating disorder (BED) for over 15 years now. Never heard of it? That’s ok, I had never heard of it either. I was in counselling due to my divorce only to find out I struggled with this also and I was one of the more severe cases my therapist had seen. Anyway, I’m a constant work in progress and am continually trying to achieve that healthy relationship with food I see others around me enjoy. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get there, but sometimes I feel close; and that brings me back to the sugar.
Sugar is the thing I like to binge on. It is also the most dangerous thing I believe any one of us can eat. SUGAR = DANGER!!! I believe sugar increases our chances of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, pre-mature aging (e.g. wrinkles), is full of empty calories (triathletes need nutrient dense food!), leads to acidity in our bodies (cancer loves acidic bodies), rots our teeth and makes us fat. On that last point: when I need to lose some weight the ONLY thing I do is cut sugar out or reduce it drastically again. I may also be eating more fat because that is my go-to for curbing sugar cravings. I’m pretty sure I’m only scratching the surface with the dangers of sugar. I’ve often heard that sugar is more addictive than cocaine and I totally believe it. I’ve been off track and it’s so difficult to get “clean” again. In America and Europe we eat an average of 100-150 grams of sugar each day. That equals 20-30 teaspoons of sugar – somehow I think this estimate is low based on what I’ve seen people eat and drink. If you are a regular pop drinker then you are guzzling more than this with each can, never mind the other foods you eat in the day! In the early 1800’s the average person took 5 days to eat this much sugar. Take a moment to consider that.
What makes me so mad are the marketing tactics of the food industry. They have been promoting low fat this and that for so long but are you aware that many of the low-fat foods are replacing “fats” with sugar products (e.g. corn syrup)?! Low fat does not necessarily mean low calories. I have also come to believe that sugar is more of an enemy than fat! (Again, take that for what it’s worth… I’m not a professional but it’s what I’ve come to believe based on things I’ve read and learned). I want to scream “BEWARE of Low-Fat foods!” They aren’t all bad, but please read your labels and beware of the hidden sugars in these products. I wish marketers would start to warn of the dangers of the hidden sugars in our foods. Processed foods apparently have lots of hidden sugars as well, buyer beware!
So can you eat sugar?? Sure, in moderation. I won’t get all technical on the different kinds of sugar (e.g. fructose vs. glucose), but one question I get a lot of when people learn I try to eliminate or drastically reduce my sugar intake is “so are you just eating agave, honey or maple syrup?” Again I want to scream: SUGAR is SUGAR! Agave, honey and maple syrup are ALL sugar! ALL of these need to be taken in moderation – any of these can be harmful to us. That said, I do prefer raw honey and maple syrup as my choices over other sugars when I bake or need to sweeten something. My reason is that they are more in a natural form, less processed and locally derived. Raw honey has other benefits such as boosting your immune system and is my favourite sweetener of choice. But I do usually try to choose recipes that are no sugar or very low sugar and even then I will cut the sugar in half.
Often I get asked about fruit which also has sugar in it. When I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes, my biggest fear was not being able to eat the fruit I love so much. What I learned instead was that a couple of servings of fruit a day was fine (but not the 7 or so servings I would eat daily! Did I mention I LOVE fruit?) I was also told to eat a protein with my fruit (e.g. a nut butter with apple slices). Fat and protein help slow down how quickly the carbohydrate (sugar/glucose) is converted to blood sugar reducing the amount of insulin required and avoiding the sugar highs we get with a refined sugar treat such as a chocolate bar. Fruit also has fiber and other nutritional benefits so it’s not “empty calories”. The lesson here: Try to eat 7-10 fruits and veggies a day, but limit the fruit to around 2. I had to flip my ratio of fruit to veggies around which for me was kind of a bummer… but some days I still do indulge in more fruit than I should. Also on the topic of fruit, I no longer drink fruit juice straight up. Once in a while I’ll enjoy a tiny bit (and I mean “tiny” as in a small splash) of fruit juice with lots of water. I’d recommend eating your fruit, not drinking it.
So my other tips for you? Enjoy your fats but choose healthy ones or enjoy full fat products but just less of them i.e. go for quality over quantity. Go for “real” plain yogurt added to fresh fruit and not the fat free or sugar-laden kind. If you must add a teaspoon of maple syrup to the plain yogurt for starters, go for it – it will likely still be less sugar than the store-bought fruity yogurts. I’ve discovered that I can stave off a sugar craving by enjoying a “fat” such as avocado or a chunk of cheese on a Triscuit. Love chocolate? Start working on the higher cocoa-content chocolates and increase those over time. I started with the 70% chocolate but am now enjoying the 85%. As you reduce your sugar intake things that used to be bitter or tart start to taste sweeter. For example, 70% chocolate now tastes VERY sweet to me. Recently at a Christmas party I indulged in some home-baked treats from a dear friend who can really bake – I was horrified how sweet they were!! I was shocked that I didn’t really enjoy the treats I once loved – they were actually way too sweet and hurt my teeth! Start to decrease the sugars you add to foods, coffee or tea. Try cinnamon instead of sugar. Over time your palette will adjust and you’ll find things taste so much sweeter than they did before with a lot less added sugar or even no sugar added.
My encouragement to you is to try your best to reduce this toxin in your diet. I find that when I’ve been off track (which happens much more than I like to admit!) and have eaten too much sugar it’s harder to train and get the energy I need to swim, bike or run. We need to fuel our bodies with what they need to get the best out of our workouts. Yes, we need carbohydrates to exercise (and yes, sugar is a carb and our body does need glucose), but I encourage you to choose healthier carbohydrates pre and post exercise. Then take it one day at a time and beware of excessive sugar intake. Your body and mind will thank you for it!
|Posted by secondwindconditioning on February 6, 2016 at 5:15 AM||comments (0)|
It’s all about FUN!
Let me just start out by saying how much I have loved working with Moms and Babes in Motion over the past few years! What an amazing group of women and an awesome sport to take up. One of the best decisions I ever made was signing up to do my first triathlon with Nancy Hastings at the Flamborough YMCA in January of 2010.
All my life I have been a competitive person…whether it be through sport, school, work or anything really. I did not like to LOSE! I’d beat myself up over the fact that I didn’t push myself enough as I thought I could do and keep asking myself What if?! It has been hard to get over the what if…but I think I have finally come to the fact that I don’t need to do that to myself anymore. I think last year was probably a big turning point for me…
Last year I fell into a big slump. I lost my motivation for doing triathlon and I’m sure it showed. I have dealt with a lot of injuries over the past few years in my knee, foot and shoulder. I really let it get to me. I did not like that fact that I wasn’t able to run the fastest, swim the fastest, bike the fastest as I could in previous years. I was also terrified of getting into the water at Iron Girl due to a panic attack in the water the previous year. I am usually a fairly confident swimmer and I let that get the best of me. I was not happy to put it simple. I didn’t like this feeling and I really wanted to turn things around. I really had to let myself know that it’s ok…it’s ok not to be the best (not that I was..haha), its ok that I’m not as good as I used to be, it’s ok that I’m not as fit as the year before.. I will work with what I have and get back on track! And that’s just what I have been doing.. Getting back on track...
Rather than give up on triathlon altogether I started to swim, bike and run just for the fun of it because that is what triathlon is all about. FUN! I am in the pool twice a week, spin once a week and have slowly been working back up to running. I just recently started on the treadmill again and literally just went out last night and ran 6K. I ran it slow and easy but it’s OK. I was happy and it was fun! I also strength train 2 or 3x/week because I LOVE to, not because I feel like I have to be the best.
So if you ever find yourself saying I don’t like this, I suck, I can’t get any faster, why can’t I catch up to them? Don’t worry…be happy! Be happy that you ARE out there, you are doing your best and you are having fun. You will find that you will feel better in every way and become leaner, stronger, and more confident than you have ever been.
I am excited to start this triathlon journey this season and have fun with all of you!
If you are ever in Waterdown check me out on the sign in front of PushFit Studio! Haha I was surprised to see myself out there in January. My confidence is clearly shining.. And I literally just picked up a flyer with me on it too this morning…. It pays off to work out and have fun doing it!
|Posted by secondwindconditioning on January 22, 2016 at 5:35 AM||comments (0)|
The above sentence is the driving force behind Epicure’s mission to bring healthy food to Canadians in exciting, affordable and easy ways. Epicure is Canadian based company that was founded in 1997 by Sylvie Rochette, and sprung from a desire to provide healthy meals for her own family. Starting out attending craft and vendor markets, Sylvie, and her daughter Amelia, have expanded the company across Canada and added thousands of products to their line. Epicure is a family-based company that truly cares about providing high quality food and cookware products to Canadians, and believes that ethically minded companies are the way of the future.
Ensuring that your family is eating well is on the forefront of many of our minds, but for a lot of people they are unsure how to do this. Epicure is there to help make the step to clean, healthy eating an easy and delicious one. The line of silicone steamers that are both microwave and oven safe help you make easy, healthy meals like fajitas, meatloaf, pasta, lasagna, chicken and vegetables in just minutes in the microwave, while still retaining the nutrition and moisture. My family uses our steamers at least 4 times per week, they are amazing!
Then of course, there are also the food products. There is so much to choose from! Dip mixes, spice blends, teas, “What’s for Dinner” meal packages such as tacos, butter chicken and pulled pork, whole food sprinkles to fibre and omega-3’s to any meal, sweet dip mixes and even protein powder to power up your breakfast.
I have been a consultant with Epicure for almost 3 years now, and I feel truly lucky to be part of such a great company. Right now, I am participating in the pilot launch of Epicure’s latest clean eating initiative called “Good Food. Real Results”. With this program you are provided with meal planning tools, recipes and food products to make it easy for you to incorporate clean eating in your household with meals that are truly family friendly. Some of the items include, chicken parmesan, meatloaf, fajitas, burgers, fish sticks and chicken fingers. In other words, family favourites with a healthy twist! I have been participating in the program for 2 weeks now and combined with exercising 3 times per week I have lost 5lbs!
If you’d like to learn more about this great company, please visit www.epicure.com to browse the catalogue. If you see anything you’d like to order, contact me through my website at www.staceyclarence.myepicure.com or by email at [email protected]. If you’d like to added to my Facebook group where I share meal ideas, recipes and customer specials, please send a request at https://www.facebook.com/groups/512098488911536/" target="_blank">https://www.facebook.com/groups/512098488911536/
|Posted by secondwindconditioning on January 10, 2016 at 10:40 AM||comments (0)|
Happy New Year Everyone!
I know for some or most of us we all set New Resolutions. I have done this and tried several ways over the past few years. Sometimes, to create less pressure, I carry over a resolution to the next year.
So, as I reflect on 2015, I have come up with simply, what one small change can I make to 2016...
Thinking to my first years of triathlon training( in 1999), I started out with about 2 races in a season( my boys were longer, I worked full time and Coached 3 baseball team)
Workouts were at 6am before work . It was tough at first but, I got used to it and felt good knowing I got it done before the craziness of the day.
Once hooked on triathlon and the boys older, I soon set my sites to longer ditance races meaning, I was gone longer from my family for the training workouts.
I loved all the new friends and destination races.
With the true love for the sport, I got my NCCP triathlon Certification, then my spinning certification, then personal training and Life Coaching.
Helping and Coaching now consumed my own training workouts meaning, I was racing alot less( over the last 6 years)
Last summer I decided well, I am working out with the team so, I know I am ready for a race
Getting back to racing, not being the "cheer squad" but, having one was a real treat( and havng by husband on site and getting high fives is awesome)
Getting to the podium was a shock!
So, what small thing will I change this year?? Set a race goal, have fun and " represent" for our teams and role model for my family