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Long-time goal is near – 2018 Ironman 70.3 Coeur D’Alene

Goals. Most of us have goals. They give us something to strive for. A Half Ironman has been a goal of mine for a while. A little over 4 years now. I was actively trying to train for it back in the beginning of setting this goal. Even made it verbal. Bought the swim cap, the goggles and tri-suit, but I didn’t take it seriously enough that I eventually stopped training. My goal was put on the back burner.

I had even secured pool access with a client so I could train on my swimming. It had been awhile since I had swam. The motivation disappeared as well as the desire. I didn’t even look up any half Ironman races, so I had no idea what I was training for or even a time-frame. I’m not sure what happened. I was excited, but then went back to my old habits and the training stopped. Never thought about a half Ironman again...until this past December.

My sister had already done one and I was feeling a little left out. Feeling like a failure since I had previously said out loud that I was training for one but hadn’t signed up. Now I really wanted to do one. I was feeling the need for a goal. So, I searched the Ironman website to see when the Coeur D’Alene 70.3 would be. And what do you know? It’s scheduled for June 24th - my BIRTHDAY. What a great way to bring in 44 years, I thought! I just had to do this one. Stop blowing smoke and start follow through with my word. I had announced it 4 years ago and now I’m going to do it. I signed up.

Before my signing up, I had been researching food and nutrition because I’ve been struggling with a weight loss plateau for the last few years. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Following what I’ve been taught. Following what I tell my clients to do and yet nothing was changing for me. Through my research, in search for a solution, I came across the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle. I was finding out that some of the top elite athletes were vegan and that there was something to this dietary way. So, I decided that I would train for this half Ironman on a whole foods plant-based diet. I started training for the half Ironman in January and my first day eating Whole Foods Plant Based was February 5, 2018.

It's been over 90 days of eating this way. Here are some general questions that get asked a lot:

  • What is a WFPB diet?

It means no meat, no dairy and no oil. Now I will admit that I have had some non-compliant foods, however, 95% of the time, it’s been strictly a whole foods plant based dietary lifestyle.

  • What do I eat?

Vegetables, rice, potatoes, beans, etc. It’s unbelievable how much food I can eat and what I’ve been eating. Learning about different flavors.

  • How do I feel training on this way of fueling?

FANTASTIC! I don’t know any other way to describe it. Just earlier, while I was out on a run, I kept repeating “I love what my body can do!” Fuel it well and it performs well.

  • How has it helped my training?

I can train hard and for a much longer period. While I’m sore the day of training, the next day, very little soreness. My recovery time is very minimal. I listen to my body and when it feels I need to rest, I rest. But I’ve been able to go from doing a 40-mile bike ride to running 9-10 miles and then be able to wake up and go swimming the next day. I feel stronger. I’m lifting heavier weights than I’ve ever been able to for specific exercises.

  • How has the scale been affected?

Well, the plateau has been broken. I have lost over 10lbs, but while I haven’t seen much change in the weight, my clothes say otherwise. My shoulders are shrinking as I can tell in my shirts. My pants fit differently. It’s a change in body composition and I’m very ok with that. Overall, I’m pleased with the results so far with this way of eating.

  • Will I continue eating this way after the race?

Yes I will continue. I’m not going to say I will never eat meat again, or even cheese. I am a cheeseaholic!! But I don’t miss cheese as much as I thought I would. I know how I react to cheese. I am unable to just eat a little bit. One bite and I want MORE. So learning that about myself and also learning more about food and the types of food practices, it’s helped me choose the best for me. I feel great eating this way. I am stronger than I’ve ever been. And shifting my focus from just weight loss to health, I’ve taken a different approach to food. I no longer fight with my food because I stopped fighting.

There is one thing that I’m a little terrified of regarding the Ironman. I’m afraid of the water. Correction, in a pool I’m fine. But if I can’t see in the water, I get very nervous. Marine life that I am unable to see scares me. I bought a wetsuit in hopes that it will help with not feeling those “curious mouths.” I read that somewhere and I thought that’s the perfect description of my fear.

For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been practicing my swimming at the Court Club down the street. I can do the required distance in less than the allotted time. So, I’m confident that I can do this. I am going to hope that I can concentrate and focus on swimming and not so much what Is in the water below me.

I know that these next few weeks are going to go by fast and race day will be here before I know it. It’s not about winning. I want to finish. It’s about accomplishing the goal. I wonder what goal will be the next after this. I need to keep moving. Strive for something. Feel alive and with purpose. Set another goal and another.

First things first.

Conquer 2018 Ironman 70.3 Coeur D’Alene.

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