Where has the time gone, I look back at my last post and it was about my amazing experience at Lake Tahoe Tough Mudder. That was only a few months ago…. Time has moved on and so have I, I have been continuing to work hard in the gym and more importantly on the mental aspects of this transformation. Since that time I have accomplished some things that were on my list of goals for 2013 and I will share that with you here. I did however find myself in a familiar position, regressing on the scale but the difference now was that I continued to see gains in the gym. I am still lifting more weight and overall feeling stronger. In the beginning, I tried to justify the gains on the scale as temporary and used the excuse that I was gaining muscle. Then one morning, I woke up walked to the scale and looked down at a number that shocked me, 256 pounds!
I had spent weeks seeing the scale go up by a pound or maybe two, not wrapping my head around it I continued to do what made me comfortable. My meal planning had stopped, I was still eating better than the old version of myself but there where areas that seemed to sometimes fall out of control. I began to treat myself to ice cream on a regular basis, as a family we began to eat out a lot more. I stopped looking at calories and thought I had everything under control, I was wrong! I needed to make a change so I thought about it and it needed to be different, something that I had not done before.
I reached out to some people that I had not talked with about my journey, these particular people have walked this walk and went through transformations themselves. They have been in the same boat or at least a very similar one. I struggle with things that people who have been fit their entire lives just don’t understand. I am so hard on myself, even more so now than before. I constantly worry about my body image, in the past do you think I cared? I have worked hard to feel good about myself and to be honest that has become the hardest part. When will it all be enough? When will I feel comfortable with no shirt on in public? It’s a battle I never thought I would even have to fight, I am grateful for the conversations and text messages that have taken part and its helped jump start my journey to get back on track. Even more recently I have met some new friends and we are working together as a team to take on our inner challenges, we rely on one other to assist with accountability and that too has played a huge role in the progress I am seeing again.
|My meal prep lunch bag – 6 pack fitness rocks!|
|A sample of my clean eats|
The good news is I feel great about where I am with food right now, I have started meal prepping/planning again and wrapped my head around the fact that junk food is a slippery slope and right now I am not ready to have those kinds of treats. This is an ongoing process that requires constant evaluations of what it is I am doing. I thought I would have reached my goal weight of 225 pounds with no problem at all… I know I have said that the number on scale is not important and in the grand scheme of things it holds a minor importance, but now it’s become important to me in the sense that it will close a chapter that I should have closed months back. I will get there, I have come too far not to put this to rest. Will power, clean eats, no treats, heavy lifting, lots of cardio and of course support from family and friends will get me to that goal. This I know to be true.
The last few months have not been spent sitting around sulking in my addition of weight. In fact, I have been working harder and harder than ever before. Over the course of the last three weekends, I knocked out a goal that I didn’t think I would even attempt at this point and continued to stay more and more active than before. I started my three week fitness filled hiatus with a half marathon called “Race To The End of Summer”, then I completed my first 70.3 Half IronMan distance Triathlon, wrapping it up with my second Olympic distance Triathlon this past weekend. Needless to say I have been busy!
My First 70.3 – The Big Kahuna
I remember putting this event on my calendar and thinking how long away it was. Then it seemed like a time flash bomb exploded fast forwarding time to the week of the event. I trained for this event, but in a different fashion than my first triathlon. I focused on strength; I needed to improve the muscle in my core and legs to carry me 70.3 miles to the finish line. I still got my long runs, rides and swims in, but it was not the focus at all. I just wanted to get stronger to ensure that I have the body to push me to the end.
The morning quickly came and as I left the family sleeping in the hotel room and exited the door I was greeted with the thick fog of Santa Cruz, CA. I made my way to the transition area and got my things set up. 6:45AM quickly came and all the participants started to make their way to the pier, where the sea lions were eager for this to get started. It was a simple swim around the Santa Cruz pier in the ocean, I had yet to swim in the ocean so my poor planning only added to the anxiety that existed. I stood there in the sand looking out into the ocean thinking to myself that this was the easy part! I walked into the corral and the horn sounded, off I ran into the ocean trying to gain my composer from the shock of the cold water on my face I just tried to stay submerged for as long as possible.
It took me a few seconds and I was able to get my breathing under control and before I knew it I was rounding the pier and heading back to the beach. I came out of the water and ran into transition, got out to of the wetsuit and started my 56 mile bike ride along Highway 1. This was the part I was afraid of the most. I am not a good cyclist, in fact I am horrible. I just wanted to pace myself and ensure that I had enough gas in the tank to knock out the run. The bike course was filled with rolling hills and beautiful scenery. I made the mistake of over hydrating and ended up stopping 5 times on my ride, 4 times to pee and once to change a rear flat tire. I came back in on my bike, my legs were tired but still very much ready for the 13.1 miles that laid ahead. I came to the run and met a new found friend who walked with me for ¼ a mile or so (Emory, thank you so much for being there). She asked me how I felt, I think I replied “Well, my legs are tired!” I hit the pavement and remember feeling great until I hit about mile 5 in the run. My knees and hips were throbbing, I had to start to a run/walk method to keep the pain from getting to be too much. There were times I wanted to call it quits and in those moments I looked down at my left wrist and filled with an overwhelming amount of emotion that on occasion caused a few tears. I thought how great I would feel when it was over and most importantly, who was waiting for me at the finish line, my amazingly supportive wife, Meghan and my two little rock stars, Eli and Mason. I came to mile 12 and there was that new found friend from FNS, Emory – she walked with me for a few minutes providing some words of encouragement and a much needed familiar face. After seeing Emory, I rounded the corner and headed to the beach for the finish of the race. The beach was packed because the fog had lifted and it turned out to be an amazingly, beautiful day. I was fast approaching the finish line and through the all the crowds of people, I heard it. The sound that all fathers know – “Daddy!” I heard my son Eli yell my name from the beach where he was playing in the sand waiting for his dad to “win the race” I saw my motivation all huddled together there on the Beach eagerly awaiting me and the completion of the race. I crossed the finish line in just under 7 hours and 8 minutes, I received my metal but I should have grabbed and extra one. One for me and the other for my wife who braved the jammed packed beach with both of our little ones all alone for the day while I took on the 70.3 mile course!
Some Photos from the last three weeks
|Half Marathon – Race to the End of The Summer 9/1/2013|
|I earned that sticker and was proud to slap it on the car!|
|Me and the little monsters the day before Big Kahuna – they enjoyed the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!|
|The Beach at the Pacific Grove Triathlon from 9/14/2013|
|My strong finish at Pac Grove Tri – 3 hours 10 mins|
|Another Medal for the Rack – Pac Grove Tri|
|My Prized Possession – My first 70.3 medal from Big Kahuna 9/8/2013|
|My rock, my support, my best friend, my AMAZING wife! (yes, that is a beer)|
I want to get back into writing more, my goal is to get a blog post back up once a week. I thank you for taking the time to read and as always, please send any questions or anything to me at email@example.com
Until Next Time – Warrior, Wildflower Finisher, Tough Mudder – Big Kahuna Finisher – Training for LIFE!
Brian Joost says
Awesome job Mario!