Swim, Bike, Run, Mom. Yes, Me.


I bought this book a few months ago and last night I picked it up again. It’s by Meredith Atwood and its called “Triathlon for the Every Woman: You Can Be A Triathlete. Yes. You.” Kona triathlete Bree Wee wrote a preface (she’s my mini hero, tiny and fast and funny), as did Chrissy Wellington, triathlete extraordinaire. And since I’ve been doing a few triathlons over the last couple of years, and still feeling like the fat old lady out there, I thought getting an autographed copy from Meredith might inspire me. I LIKED her Swim Bike Mom Facebook page, and I recommend you do the same if you’re a woman toying with the idea of loving yourself through the pain of swimming, riding bicycle, and running, without stopping, until you’re through and it’s dark and you’re not quite sure there’s anything left inside your mind or your cells or your feet.

That could be me. I’m doing the Honu Half-Ironman in Kona on June 1.

Because I’m so busy and so exhausted and so frazzed all the time, I skip around when I pick the book up. I know, I’m sorry, Meredith. I’m doing what I can! Last night while waiting for Kid1 while she was in her viola lesson, I sat in the van and read the chapter about nutrition. And a lot of it was about the SCALE. The. DREADED. SCALE. Meredith talks about how that mofo drives her up the wall. She spoke of disconnecting from the scale, and she addressed the input she got from others of how they couldn’t give up the scale.

This morning, I wish I had not gotten on the scale. But I did, and I’m pretty sure there’s a dark and gray cloud hovering over me now.

Why did I get on the scale? Well, for the last three weeks I’ve eliminated white flour. I’ve made whole-wheat thin pizza crusts, whole-wheat, home-made pasta, ate more fruit and veggies than ever, cut back on sweetened coffee, and even drank less wine (ME!). My waist looked a little thinner this morning. The fat pants slid on and had room. But I’m still in fat pants. So I got on the scale. And I could have cried.

But let’s put it this way: My fat pants have always been the same size: 12. I really like being a size 10, and that can’t be too hard to get back down to. When I weighed 30 pounds less I wore a size 12. You see how weird this is? To weigh tons more and still get to say fat pants are size 12? And give me this: I’m 54 and my body has been sticking its toe in the menopause pool for two years now. I think I’m in the middle of it, or getting through it now, but you can never be sure. It has thickened my waist. I cannot stand it. I have friends, fellow women triathletes, who are older than me and have slimmed down. I’m hopeful.

On March 12 I begin Honu training with my TryFitness sisters. We’ll meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Sundays. Kid1&2 can’t wait! Mom will be working out and maybe start feeling better about herself again. I know my husband likes the after effects of a wife who’s worked out. He’s looking forward to getting his happy wife back.

I’m a little terrified about the Honu. Last Saturday I was in the Haleiwa Sprint Triathlon. While swimming among the thrash of other swimmers, I thought how much I hated it. But I knew I had to get through it, and so I incorporated some of the training Joe and Tom Lileikis taught me during Masters swimming at The Oahu Club: I moved my arms up and down along my body, keeping them close, avoiding connecting with the other swimmers, it worked and I moved efficiently through the water. Despite the dizziness as I emerged, my swim time was pretty good. I knew that once I was on my bicycle I could get a jump on how slow my run would be. My leg problems (healed burst tendon, knee pain, swelling, excess fluid, and now plantar fasciitis in the other foot) are a bit of a pain to work out. My sports doctor says I should just stop running, but he says it’s OK with him if I do triathlons because it’s not all running.

About those fat pants: Surely, the new eating habits will pay off, right? I can’t give up.

Author: lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer is my new opponent. Writer, super sub teacher, triathlete, awesome cook, ocean girl with head-to-toe sun protection.

6 thoughts on “Swim, Bike, Run, Mom. Yes, Me.”

  1. Thank you for fighting the good fight. That happy wife part is key. Don’t lose sight of that.

  2. I am very excited for you that you are training for Honu. That is my favorite half ironman. The swim is a mass start ( which I love because I am a swimmer ) so you can position yourself behind the mass if that makes you feel more comfortable. I think since biking is your strong leg you will love the course and probably will be able to pass a lot of people like me who are poor bikers and inexperienced in the wind. The best part of the run is that whole families come out to man the aid stations and are so encouraging. Keep up the good work. It will all be worth it when you finish.

  3. When you were thirty pounds less, were you as fit? That could account for the scale. I’ve been the same weight a couple of times, and being more fit, made the clothes bigger, even though the scale was the same.

    Anyway, I’m so extraordinarily proud of all you have accomplished since I initially “met” you. Congratulations and good luck in Kona!

  4. Thanks so much Lynnie! Your comments have been so encouraging! Thank you!!! Mahalo!
    I hope we will actually connect this summer at the WRS!!!!

  5. Lynn: Come on! Join us at Try Fitness this Saturday for Honu Orientation! I know it’s closed, but a bunch of us are working out because it’s such a great group.

  6. you go girl. I have struggled with my weight for years and finally lost a big chunk in 2009/2010 and started to run. I started doing Tri’s last year and registered for a half Ironman at the end of August. In my mind, I am still that size 20 lady, not the size 8 one that I actually am today. I still look like the Pillsbury doughboy in my Tri suit, I always will, but I am finally comfortable in my skin, comfortable at being the slowest and happy. My husband of almost 24 years, who runs marathons, loves his new wife and one day we will train for an Ironman together. Love your body as it is the one that will get you over the finish line…everytime.

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