Saturday morning I was standing on the North Shore with 700 other swim cap clad racers, wondering whether or not I was going to be the last person to finish the 1 mile open ocean swim from Sunset Beach to Pipeline. I’d be a disgrace to my profession! I trained for this race on the South Shore, doing laps at Kaimana, but I had never swam this route before and I was very nervous. I’m a super slow swimmer, and to be honest the ocean freaks me out a little; I don’t like being at the mercy of the current and waves when I’m in the water.
This race had an water start, and the men and women were divided into two waves. My stomach was doing somersaults as I swam out to the buoys. Just as I arrived, the second start went off and all of the women started swimming past me. After the first 15 minutes, the majority of the pack had sped off out of my line of vision. It was just me, a handful of other stragglers, and the entire ocean safety squad keeping a close eye on us.
Everything was fine, and I was cruising along at my steady, yet slow pace until I hit Rocky Point. In the summer the North Shore of Oahu basically flat; big waves make their appearance in the winter. So the waves that were breaking at Rocky Point this weekend were teeny tiny by North Shore surf standards, but swimming through waves is an entirely different story! I kept being pushed around by the water and the current was kicking up a bit too. I felt like the reef below me wasn’t going anywhere, and I was getting really frustrated.
Luckily, my now personal lifeguard was there to help direct me past the breaking waves. It was really difficult to figure out where I needed to go with the waves crashing over me. I rounded the point, and I could see the finish up ahead! But again it felt like the ocean was conspiring against me, and I wasn’t making any noticeable progress toward shore. I paused to tread water and take a quick break. And a brief cry into my goggles. I couldn’t get too emotional because I had to keep swimming! There was no way out of this except to finish, because I’d be dammed if I’d already been in the water 45 minutes and then gave up.
Just me and my safety squad
My lifeguard (and now my coach too) pointed out the finish line buoys up ahead. He encouraged me to keep going, that I was so close! I looked around and didn’t see ANYONE else in the water. “Am I last?” I asked him. He looked around behind him and shouted “No!” That was the last little push I needed! I sped (well sped for me, anyhow) past the buoys and fought the waves to run up onto the beach. I have never been so excited to be almost last in my life!
This race was really tough for me, both physically and mentally. I’m glad I did it, but I’m also glad it’s over!
Feels good to be on dry land!
Last weekend I ran in the 37th annual Wahiawa Pineapple 10K Run. This was my second year, and it’s one of my favorite races on the island. Not that I don’t love Ala Moana or Kapolani Park, but this was a rare opportunity to run in the country. The course started out at Ka’ala Elementary School and then went straight up Kamehameha Highway through Wahiawa town. The next 4 miles of the course led through rolling hills alongside agricultural fields with great views of the Waianae Mountains. Ironically, I didn’t see a single pineapple during the race; most of the land is now used for other crops.
View of the Waianae Mountains from the 10K course
I was not going for a personal record this race, and I took a very easy pace. I’ve found it a little difficult to get back into speedier short distances after training for long-distance races. All 755 of the finishers, no matter what their time, received a pineapple at the end of the race. To celebrate my sweet victory, I think I’ll make a pineapple sorbet, similar to this one, but without the addition of agave. I think the fruit itself will be sweet enough.
I love participating in races like this one. There is a great energy during the event that you just don’t experience during a training run. There are TONS of foot, bike, swim, and even SUP races taking place this summer and fall. Check out Active.com or the Running Room’s event calendar to see what’s coming up. Several of my clients are going out of town this summer, but will be training for a race during their extended break to help keep them on track. It is so much easier to stick to a plan if you have an end goal in mind.
What event would you like to complete? Have an great race experiences? Tell us!
Summer is right around the corner, and the results from the Spring Shape Up are in! Dozens of women across Oahu participated in this year’s challenge, and I’m really proud of the hard work everyone put in. Ladies were running races for the first time, setting new personal records, fitting back into their smaller jeans, and improving their health. But there was one participant who really stood out, the winner of the Transformation Challenge: Mayumi Ogumoro!
Mayumi got involved in the challenge for a few reasons. She was at her heaviest weight ever; she had just received the frightening news from her physician that she was pre-diabetic; and she wanted to be a healthier, more active role model for her young son. She set a short term goal of losing about 25lbs during the three month challenge: a great start to her long term 80lb goal. Mayumi has lost about 30lbs so far during the course of the challenge, and she is well on her way to reaching her ultimate goal! She also got the great news last week that her blood sugar is now well within the normal healthy range!!
Initially, Mayumi did 2-3 strength training workouts a week with me. She also put in a lot of work on her own time: she started taking long, daily walks with her dog, and testing out all different types of exercise options available at her gym. Then her husband got involved, and the two of them became exercise partners as well as friendly competitors. The variety of her workouts, plus the extra support and accountability Mayumi was getting at home and and in her sessions kept her on track.
But she didn’t only focus on her activities. Mayumi made some really important changes to how and what she was eating. She swapped out heavily processed foods for a whole foods diet based on plants and lean meats. She even tried some new interpretations of her family’s favorite not-so-healthy BBQ staples, and to her surprise, they loved them!
I’m really amazed by all the hard work Mayumi has put into this transformation, and I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in the next 12 weeks!
If you want to make 2012 a great year for your health and fitness here are 3 trends that are actually worth following:
Train for your specific goals. If you want to run a marathon, then train for a marathon. If you want to lose fat and achieve a sleek, muscular body, don’t train for a marathon!!! Women especially are famous for doing endless cardio sessions and then becoming frustrated when all their hard work doesn’t pay off with the improved physique, strength or endurance gains that they were looking for. Do your own research (using CREDIBLE sources) or consult with a professional on what your exercise and nutrition program should look like to get you where you want to be.
Integrate technology into your fitness plan. From using apps to record your daily food journals and track your activities, to using a heart rate monitor to better track your own personal caloric burn, data is where it’s AT! It is so much easier to know what you need to work on when you understand exactly what you’re doing. It is also much easier to hold yourself accountable for your actions, which can be scary. Don’t be afraid, be empowered!
Eat more seasonal and locally grown produce. You’ll be starting off great just by eating more produce! Only 14% of American adults eat the recommended minimum of 5 servings a fruits and vegetables every day. Food that is fresh is also more nutritious. As produce sits in storage or travels on trucks and container ships, the vitamins the food deteriorate. You’ll get the most beneficial food when its been recently picked OR flash frozen at its peak
What are you planning to try or do this year?
If you resolve to make 2011 a healthier, more exiting year full of new experiences and opportunities, get started with Lululemon’s 31 Day Fitness Challenge. Trainers and studios all over Oahu have joined together to offer the community a different, FREE, fitness class every day in January 2011. The schedule and all the details can be found here. There is something for everyone: yoga, Pilates, Cross Fit, even rock climbing.
I will be opening my Ladies-only bootcamp classes to visitors on Wednesday, January 5. Please contact me for more information if you’d like to attend.
What a great way to kick off the New Year!
It is amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. I used to think that people who believed in the infinite possibility of the human spirit were just annoying: some people have abilities and others don’t, that was my philosophy. I’ve really changed my mind about this over the past few years, and that has to do with many things, one of the being my own physical transformation, as well as some major mindset shifts. I guess the thing I’ve learned is that natural talent will only take you so far, and that the people who succeed, in athletics, music, cooking, whatever it may be, have to put in a ton of effort and time as well. This episode of Radiolab goes into much greater detail about this idea more eloquently than I can get into here, and is a great listen.
On my way to victory at Kualoa Ranch!
Why am I getting all philosophical about this idea? Because three years ago I couldn’t even run for half a mile without stopping. My side would cramp up, I would get out of breath, my back would ache, and just generally felt like I was going to die. Even when I was a kid and played soccer for nearly ten years (although not very well ) I HATED to run. If you know anything about soccer, you know that’s a bit problematic. I am most definitely NOT a “natural” runner. However, this past weekend, I ran in the XTERRA 5k Trail Run at Kualoa Ranch and I placed third in my age group! I was eleventh woman overall! How did this happen?!
I think that most of the super speedy ladies were tackling the race with the prize money, but I also have to give myself some major credit. Running is something that I have been seriously working on for the past two years. I’m now at a point where I can go for a jog for a few miles and not feel like I might collapse at any second. Instead, it feels GREAT. I never understood people who said they loved to run. “What’s to love about burning lungs and side stitches,” I would think to myself. These people had to just be nutjobs! I get it now, but it has taken time, effort, and some major sweat. I didn’t just wake up one morning and discovered I had a talent; I had to develop it over time.
Sometimes after a really hard workout, I will joke with my clients that I “personally trained myself” the day before, so I’m a little uncomfortable jumping around. My client will totally understand this, because she knows how I challenge her in her workouts, but then she will usually ask me how I can push myself in my workouts when there is no one there telling me what to do. It is one thing to get to the gym or put on your running shoes, but much more difficult to workout at high intensity level. However, here are some tips you can use to make sure you get the most out of the time you put into your exercise program:
Continue reading Make Your Workout Count!
If you are a woman and think it seems like the men in your life are able to lose weight much more quickly than you even though you are working at it twice as hard, vindication is yours! In addition to having more lean muscle on average than women, according to this article in yesterday’s Star Advertiser, men respond differently to exercise. Women experience increased appetite to compensate for the increased energy expended through exercise, while men do not. What to do about this seemingly unfair discrepancy?
Build more lean muscle through resistance training. You need to do more than cardio. The more muscle mass you have, the more of an efficient calorie burning machine you’ll be. Continue reading In the Weight Loss Battle of the Sexes, Men Have the Advantage