Quote of the day


Joseph Campbell

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Power of Together

This blog, which is a journey to my ironman is not meant for me to merely tell you about my (boring? not-so-boring?) daily habits, rhythms, training, racing, thoughts, hopes and dreams.....it's really about me trying to bring my friends, family and strangers together to help support a cause that is very dear to me. MentorCONNECT

Until recently, as in the last few years, I did not share the intimate stories of my eating disorder past with anyone. It wasn't until I finally acknowledged the power of sharing my story; of asking for help; of offering my help; of being ok with having the support of a community of people who have experienced similar struggles, that I realized how empowering it was not to be alone in my struggle. I had to finally be willing to give up trying to recover and to "figure it out" by myself.... because the truth is, it wasn't working.

If you've read my previous posts, you might have come across the one on Joseph Campbell's "The Hero's Journey".  (If you haven't read this post, please do so now. Here's the link The Hero's Journey) I like to think of my past struggle with bulimia as one of my most important heroic journeys of self-discovery.  Even though it pains me to think of this past, I know it was important for me to become the woman I am today.

In The Hero's Journey, the last phase of the journey is a "Return" phase. To return is to share your story with others. This blog is a manifestation of my "Return" from my dark journey through a past in which bulimia haunted my daily rhythms'.  For you to understand my journey doesn't mean you too  had to battle with an eating disorder. But rather, that you, like us all, have struggled, in any capacity.

Struggle, after all, is part of the human experience. But what we do with the struggle we face is more indicative of the strength of our character than anything else. What I learned from my journey, and what I continually learn day in and day out, is that reaching out to others helps us overcome our own struggles with more ease.

So, in the writings of this blog, I want share my ironman story, but, more importantly, I want to share my story of recovery and hope.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


\mathrm{VO_2\; max} = Q \times\ (\mathrm{C_aO_2} - \mathrm{C_vO_2})

Above is the Fick Equation for maximal aerobic capacity, or VO2 max.

If you've ever had a max test performed you surely remember "the suffering".  VO2 max is reached when one's oxygen consumption remains the same despite an increase in workload. That's the point of maximal exertion....and it HURTS!! The test is usually performed on a treadmill. The exercise intensity progressively increases while a machine measures the oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration of one's inhaled and exhaled breaths.

While I didn't have another V02 max test done "per say" on Thursday, I certainly feel like I reached my V02 max. My "maximal exertion" was reached while performing my second fitness test of the year. In particular, while I was doing the 1/2 mile treadmill sprint test.

I posted my previous fitness test results but I will post them again for reference.

My first fitness test was performed on January 22nd and these were my tests/results and the order they were performed:

1. 1/2 mile treadmill sprint:3:03
2. Sit-ups in 60 sec: 56
3. Max Push-ups without breaking rhythm: 30
4. 209lb leg press max without breaking rhythm: 41
5. Pull ups from dead hang: 2
6. Plank max time: 2:09

Since the first test, I have been working hard to build up my strength. Lifting 3 times a week, eating loads of protein and pushing myself out of my comfort zone in many ways.

This past Thursday was judgment day.  I had goals coming into the test which was mainly to top all my previous results.  And I did... except for one: push-ups.

1. 1/2 mile treadmill sprint: 2:45
2. Sit-ups in 60 sec: 60
3. Max Push-ups without breaking: 30
4. 209lb leg press max without breaking: 50
5. Pull ups from dead hang: 4
6. Plank max time: 2:31

In hindsight, I pushed WAY TOO HARD on the treadmill sprint which taxed my body for the rest of the testing. I really just wanted to break 3:00 but I ran hard enough to break 2:46. I remember sprinting at 11 mph for the last 1/8 mile saying out loud to my trainer, "I don't know about this", then in another breath asking him to dial up the mph even more. The distance seemed to turn over in a ridiculously slow fashion. (Why does time seem to slow down during moments of suffering but goes by in an instant in times of joy?) 

I am most proud of my treadmill exertion and pull-ups. I am most dissatisfied with my push-ups and plank. Ironically, I had put the most time and effort into practicing push-ups and plank over the past 6 weeks, yet those seemed to be my "weakest" elements of the fitness test. It just goes to show that preparation for one type of event/movement/sport can actually make you stronger at another.

When I was nearing the end of my half mile sprint I hit my maximum aerobic effort and even tapped into some anaerobic suffering. I cannot remember the last time I hit such a limit. My lungs were literally burning and my body was teetering on failure. It took me days to recover from that one test but in 2:45 seconds it gave me insight into what my limits are the thrill of pushing past them.

Today I'm stronger than I was yesterday, and tomorrow I hope to be stronger than I am today. And, by this I mean in life, not just fitness testing.