Saturday, December 5, 2009

365 days

Okay, so here it is... My challenge to myself.

I have been doing triathlon for 2 yrs, cycling for 5, and been an athlete for as long as I can remember. I have reached a point in my life where I am not happy with who I am, how I look. By all reasonable estimations, I am fat. According to BMI statistics, I am obese. I have a problem with that. I have always been muscular and even in high school, despite being in the best shape of my life, was over what doctors considered my ideal weight.

Now at age 36, I am fat. There I said it. FAT, FAT, FAT. I weigh 190 lbs, and it isn't all muscle. My belly shakes like Santa's, my knees hurt from carrying too much weight for my body. I hurt.

So here is the challenge. Are you ready for it? I am meeting with my personal trainer at the gym on 12/31. I plan to make wholesale dietary changes and exercise changes. No... I am not going on The Biggest Loser... I wouldn't last long there anyway.

So, here goes. Following our trip to visit the mouse at Disney, fast food will be cut. Granted it's fast, but it sure isn't all that healthy for me.

Starbucks will become no bucks. Too expensive and way too much fat in a grande mocha. 1/4 of my calorie intake in 12 oz drink. REALLY!?!?!?

Homemade food, no processed food, or as little as possible.. Home made breads, foods, snacks, fruits and veggies. The last two will be a challenge for me as I don't go much past grapes, apples and bananas or leafy greens. But I have to change for the better. I plan to work my way up to 30 minutes of cardio exercise 4-5 days a week. Most of that will be cycling for a start to get the weight down.

On 12/31 I will post the starting picture. Sports bra and my triathlon shorts. It won't be the best picture, but it will be ther truest. I have already started working towards the cardio goal, wednesday was cycling, thursday was dreadmill with some light lifting, saturday was a rest day and today was a migraine. Tomorrow is spinning at the church with my cycling group and we'll see how the week goes from there. With Disney on the horizon it will be hard to fit the workouts in with packing, cleaning, Christmas and such, but I will find the time... even if it is at 10pm and squirt is in bed. If you see me slacking or munching on McDonalds or Taco Bell... call me out. I need it.

So there it is. I have put it in writing and shortly it will also be on my facebook page, so there won't be any hiding. Here we go.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last race of the year

OMG, today has been a day to remember. Jim Casper was right. Yes Jim, you were right.

Anytime someone would complain about a part of a ride or grouse about a hill, Jim would look at them with a dead straight poker face, let the grin grow and say.... "It'll make you stronger." I have been tested more this year on the bike than in the past 4 yrs. My second year training for the ms ride, I didn't really keep track, but figured, I spent about 350-400 miles training, plus the 105 in New Bern. I had two off years for training and then this year, with the surge in attendance and the weekly training rides, I amassed close to 500 miles before the ride, plus the 80 in New Bern. I have done a couple rides since New Bern ( which I haven't done in the past.)

Yesterday, I did a 15 miles ride just to loosen the legs up before the race today. Little did I know that the route would kick my backside and fortunately, I decided to spin rather than work too hard.

Today, after my alarm went off at 5am. WTH. I got up, showered, got dressed and headed out for the race. Definitely not my first triathlon, but it was definitely a different feeling than the first 3. I was resigned to the fact that I hadn't trained the swim all summer and that due to a partially torn patellar tendon, I would not be able to run today.

My start time was 8:58:30.

I eased into the pool, with a touch of nerves, then the countdown 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GO!!!

I took off at what felt like a reasonable pace, breathing every 5 strokes in the first 50. Then I started getting caught by the swimmer behind me. I decided to race my race, stopped for a few seconds and let her pass me and then continued on. All things considered, compared to last years time, I lost 11 seconds in the pool, I didn't even look at my transition times. They were perfect for me, I'm not a flyer and won't compete. I just do what I need to do and go. I ended up getting a little light-headed in transition and sat on my bucket and got my cycling shoes on and everything else.

Jogged out of transition, mounted and took off. The bad thing about this course is that there is a two-stage hill right after the first turn and it is a real bugger of a hill. I wasn't ready for it last year and this year, it still bit me. By the time I reached the top, I was going about 7 mph or so. Once I crested, I started grabbing gears for the downhill side and blazed it at 28 mph. Corned like Lance Armstrong on rails and kept right on going. being familiar with the course from last year, I knew where to attack and where to spin and it paid HUGE!!!! dividends this year. I got passed by the girl that was right behind me. She caught me in transition and we are friends from our MS cycling. I didn't see her again until I finished, but that's okay. I was racing my race. It always takes me about 6 miles or so to get the legs fulling going on the bike. I know it and I go at whatever pace/cadence I can and just keep spinning. (BTW, Dory from Finding Nemo was my friend today during the race. Just keep swimming, swimming swimming...... spinning, spinning, spinning........ walking, walking, walking....) I don't think the grin left my face the whole time. I was having fun and that's what it's all about. I burned up the bike course in a sizzling 33 minutes. WOW!!! Last year, i rode it in 44 minutes. HOLY CADENCE CHANGE BATMAN!!! All my time in the saddle this year made a HUGE difference.

I passed two people in the final 200 yds and run into transition, but was promptly passed back.

My run this year was all walk. I tore my patellar tendon in Ohio and did not know it until about 2 weeks ago. My orthopedist said I could still race as long as I walked. I did for the most part outside of jogging in transition and about 3 minutes out on the run course. This run course must not like me, because I fell... AGAIN!!! Last year, I tripped coming across a speed table and bit the dust, rolled and kept right on going. This year, I heard a runner coming behind me (we were on the sidewalk) and stepped into the grass to give her room as I was walking. As she passed me, I hit a hidden hole in the yard I was walking in, rolled my left ankle and down I went.

If you have ever wondered about what the atmosphere of a triathlon is, let me say this. The woman that passed me, came back, asked if I was okay, helped me to my feet and made sure I was okay. It took me a few minutes to get back up to my walk speed, but I was able to go. I walked up to the last 100 yds and jogged across the finish with my hands held high. I had done it again... I was a triathlete again. It's such an affirmation to hear those words when you cross the finish line.

Kara Prater, you are a triathlete. That is the first time I have heard those words at the end of a race. It made my day and the smile has yet to leave my face. I looked up my times from last year and realized the following.

I cut 11 minutes off my bike like for a 33 minute PB on this course.

I cut 3 minutes off my overall time for another PB. AND THAT WAS WALKING!!! Imagine what I can do next year.

YEAH Baby!!!

Keep following, changes will be coming. I hope to train most of the winter and be ready for more tri's next year. Maybe even a few lbs lighter. WOULDN'T THAT BE AWESOME!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Okay, it's training time again.

Here is my promise to myself.

Last year, I took time off after my last triathlon to allow my neck more time to heal and ended up fighting my way back into some modicum of being 'in shape.'

This time, I won't allow the same thing to happen. I have reached a point with my cycling that I am averaging 14mph on a solo ride. I can probably handle faster with a paceline. Climbing still hurts, but it has gotten better.

I have formulated a training plan for me, my sister and my hubby. We are planning to run a 5k together in november. For me, there will be walking involved as well, we will only be halfway through the training plan. Hubby used to be a runner and I believe will return to running quicker than Krista and I. We'll see though. I am excited to see what happens.

Until then, let's go. Time to train and time to have some fun.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tri Training

My training this summer has been heavily weighted towards cycling. I know I'll regret that in October at my race, but oh well.

Last night's ride was awesome. I averaged close to 15 mph. For me, that is insanely fast. I even sprinted up a hill at 17 mph. That was a BIG SURPRISE. I made a couple of changes in positioning on my bike. I moved the seat back a little bit and changed my bars a touch. I also made some mechanical changes. New chain and cassette.

I rode 13 miles last night and even went off-road twice... (not good... really.) I was able to keep the bike upright, and was quite fortunate to have done so. it scared the crap out of me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

back in the swing

Okay, last night was a good ride, today was a crappy jog.

.6 mile in 9 minutes. Yuck-a-duck.

Now as I type this the dog is laying beside me licking my leg. Why is it that dogs like sweat??

I am feeling better with this cold. Now if I can continue on the upward swing to sunday. I will post results on sunday evening, but please, keep following the training this week. It is by far my best month to date.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Long off-season

Wow, it has been a LLOOOOOOOONNNNGGGGG Off-season.

I have fought my way through a sinus infection since February. 4 rounds of antibiotics, one round of steroids and if that hadn't worked, it may have meant sinus surgery again. Fortunately, no surgery after the 4th antibiotic and steroids, it resolved. My training has been limited to essentially the month of May.

By the end of the week, I will cross the 100 mile mark for this cycling season. I got 16 miles in tonight. It was a hellishly hilly ride. OMG, I still averaged 12.8 mph. I am looking forward to a hell of a triathlon this weekend and I know it will be a day to HTFU and keep moving.

Goals are a max 5 min swim, 40 minute bike and 50 minute 5k. I have not done much in the way of running or swimming so I have to do what I can and live with what I get.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Heck Yeah!!!! Today was an awesome training day. And I mean AWESOME!!!!!

I jogged over the weekend i the rain. My pacing is horrible. I haven't been much of a runner since middle school. That's a long time ago. But now I am making an honest and legitimate attempt to improve my running and pacing. Right now I am at a 1:1 which for those of you who don't train it means I run/jog for 1 minute, then walk for a minute. it helps me control my breathing and my pacing. I am having the same issue with my Tib Ant on my right leg again. When I started training last year, I had problems with my tib ant. getting fatigued and then not being able to control my toe. It caused me to wreck during a tri last year.... ON THE FLIPPIN' RUN!!!! How the heck does that happen, aside from tripping on your own two darn feet.

The race crew chased me for a little bit after the fall to check and make sure I was okay. I told them to leave me alone... (I was more embarrassed than anything.) I usually use a t-band to work it and get a little more strength and get it used to being fatigued.

So today as I said was AWESOME!! As some of you know I've been fighting fatigue and exhaustion. I got the results back from my testing and there is no MS. I have slowly gotten back into work, doing massage, and training for my triathlon. I am in a bit behind in my training for my half-ironman bike, but I seem to be building my base back fairly quickly. I am running and cycling. My swimming is behind after giving up my gym membership. No pool available. I hope I can recover that quickly as well. So back to today.... again. I got home from my mom's tonight, got the squirt settled with her movie and went for a walk/jog. Finished 1.5 miles in 25 minutes or so. Cooked a nice healthy dinner, chicken in the frying pan with some EVOO and steamed carrots. NICE!! after taking the time to get the squirt down for bed, I set the bike back up on the trainer and went for a spin with intervals. I need more work on doing longer intervals, but that will come. Like I said nice training day. 30 minutes on the bike, 25 minutes on the run for the second run of the day.

I have a BIG bike ride on saturday, It's the spring fling in Durham. Come and join us if you can. The Spiritual Spinners will be riding in Colors. Look for Rainbow tye dye and our awesome wings on the back.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Back in the saddle again

Courtesy of Aerosmith.

I'm back
I'm back in the saddle again

Ridin' high
Ridin' high
Ridin' high already

I know it doesn't sound like much, but I got almost 16 minutes in tonight. Considering the last month I have been through, it was a chore to get on there for even 10 minutes. I am hoping to slowly build my base back up. I don't want to get going too quickly and burn myself back out. I am making some dietary changes, vitamin changes, and various other changes so I am able to maximize my training and effort. It's time to get serious about my training and life.

I plan to sit back down with my nutritionist and build a plan. Not going veggie, but going to increase my veggie intake. I have given up soda and Five bucks coffee. I think that is better for me too. My training drink of choice right now is plain water. As my spins get longer, I may alternate between water and Nuun.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Lots going on

Not training much after a good streak. I started having issues with exhaustion.

Some friends expressed concern about some things they were noticing, so I have an appt. with my neurologist for march 6. Just doing some easy spinning when the body feels up to it. It hasn't felt that way for well over a week and finally decided, this might go on longer than anticipated and I have to do something before I go stir crazy.

Today was an easy 20 minute spin to see how it felt and listen to my body. Once I started wearing down, I shut it down. I hope I can get back to training more, but I think that will be after the visit to the neuro.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Streak over

I made it to 10 days on the streak, but following the weekend in Savannah, I really had a hard timr recovering. I had to take a couple of days off to get the mind and body right. Today was a 10 mile bike ride, against the wind. Winds are 16-21 mph with gusts even harder.

We had a great ride, despite the wind and I was even growling at the wind. The last time I faced headwinds that were similar were during my first MS150. Hurricane Ophelia was inbound at New Bern and we had 18-25 mph winds with gusts up to 40mph. Yikes. I went 45 miles that dad and had to quit due to cramps in my legs. I felt horrible that I quit when so many others couldn't even ride or walk due to their MS.

This year I am doing two MS events. Walk MS and MS Bike in September. I ride and walk for my mom and have ridden for her since 2005. This year she is walking in the MS walk with my friends team. Team Endure. My friend Jen started the team 5 yrs ago and this is my first year and mom's first year walking with Endure.

If you would like to be my valentine and support me for the walk, please do. Visit my walk page and donate. Even if it is only a couple of dollars, every little bit helps.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Movin' right along

I figured my favorite muppet song as a kid was appropriate for today's title.

I am now 4/4 on my streak and 2/2 for february.

Today, I just didn't have it for a bike ride. So, rather than push my legs harder and burn myself out early, I decided to go for a little yoga. My legs now feel like a limp noodle or stringy stretched out rubber bands. I am now remembering the feeling I had early in my training last season... after a two hour training session, I saw the yoga class forming and decided to give it a go. Normally after that long and hard of a workout, I would have been sore for days. I got up the next morning and moved along just fine. No soreness or stiffness. I enjoyed that feeling and the exhilaration of the post-yoga workout.. stretch. I am not one to stretch, but I like this. The other thing I noticed tonight was the burn in between my shoulder blades. That is where my pt was getting me to work to help with my neck. Maybe I should do the yoga more often. What do you think??

Let me know.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Still Streakin'

Okay, so I am 3/3 for my streak and 1/1 for February. I was concerned if I was going to be able to get tonight's workout in. Today was a really busy freakin' day. It started with helping my mom teach Sunday School this morning. After that I had to hit the store, twice, to get all the food for the Super Bowl party here. Came home and started working on the fixins. Then I had to get Mae-Lei ready for her dancing performance this afternoon, including dividing, braiding and bunning her hair, find the library, get there on time and be ready for her to dance.

Got home and again working on getting the food finished and company started arriving at 5:30. They stayed until close to 9pm and then I had to get changed, get the girl in bed and get the bike set up.

I got on the bike and just started going to it. 37 minutes on the bike in the saddle and watching the Super Bowl. I started spinning with a little over 2 minutes left on the game clock and continued through the end of the game and trophy presentation. Then switched over to Wipeout to catch the end of that.

So, I am getting into a groove and finding the determination to keep it going.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Streaking --(no, not that kind)

I am not doing the middle of the football field streak... I am doing a training streak.

It is a challenge on my triathlon site. It's called the february peach challenge. For every day we log some kind of training, whether it is lifting, spinning, running, swimming or basketball, dancing or just a good paced walk with the hubby. It counts. It has to be at least 30 minutes and get your heart rate up.

The hard part will be this coming weekend. I have a trip to Savannah, GA with the MS Society and other bike team captains. Friday and Sunday are travel days. Unless I get up early or workout after arriving either in Savannah or back at home. My streak will be broken early. I decided to start streaking early. I finished January with 2 consecutive days. Friday was spinning in the morning with a 32 minute spin and then one hour of basketball on friday night. (bruised hand followed.) Today was dancing and wrangling a pack of 13 3-6 yr olds during chinese dance class. I couldn't believe how hard I was working. Plan for tomorrow is a light day and possibly some yoga. Either that or a boxing video I have. I also have some light weights and going to be starting the pushup challenge once the hand is healed. Good night for now friends and training partners. Keep in touch. Send your inspirational thoughts or challenges. Challenge me to something and I will try to complete it as part of my challenge to go 28/28 for the month of February.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Inspiration---Really Long--

Where do we find inspiration??

I find inspiration several places. My faith... I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

Friends. I have always been overly friendly, but never had any TRUE friends. The ones who would drop anything for you... until the last 10 yrs or so. More recently so in the last 4 or 5. I was the one who would drop everything for a friend. That is my strength and my achilles heel.

My family. My mom has MS and she doesn't give up. She admits when she can't do something, which for her is DAMN HARD!!! This isn't the same woman who raised me... and that's a good thing.

My husband. He has supported me in EVERYTHING I have ever done. Massage school, adoption, when I didn't even want to have kids because I was so broken hearted over so many failures. He told me that we could do whatever I wanted, he just didn't want me to have any regrets.

My daughter. This is the best. During the winter, I set my bike up on the trainer in the living room and leave it there. I don't take it off and put it back on and ride the road and then the trainer. Once it's on the trainer, it's on until it's time to head back outside. She has seen me on that trainer for the last 2 winters. Her first winter, I doubt she really remembers. But now, everytime I get on the bike to spin she is right there with her beautiful smiling little face screaming over the mag trainer and rear wheel of the bike... "GO MOMMY GO!!!" My first triathlon as I am heading out on the run on a brutal day for me, I hear this tiny little voice say. "Go Mommy." I so wanted to quit getting off the bike. An asthma attack in the pool, a brutal bike leg where I threw my chain, my head was shot, I was so not in the race mentally and I hear her... on Mother's Day weekend. I couldn't quit no matter how badly I felt. I did not see her at the finish, she was still on the train engine.. she didn't want to get down, hubby had to drag her off.

Lately, I have received e-mails from friends and messages from people who say I am an inspiration and I have a hard time seeing it. I really do. Please bear with me. I have to get this out. I have never been the one out front, looked up to and looked at for leadership, guidance or inspiration. I was always the wallflower, shy, clumsy and eager to please. I wanted to be liked. I never sacrificed my morals or integrity for that but I sacrificed my dignity. I always hated that. Now, as an adult and a mother, I find myself wanting to be stronger, not just for me, but for my daughter as well. I want her to be confident, but not cocky.

I do triathlon for me. I want to be happy, healthy and comfortable with who I am and what I look like. I want my child to have a role model of an active life and that it is okay to be a woman and be physically fit and strong. So, am I an inspiration, I hope so, mainly for my child. But... if my life is an inspiration for you to get up and moving later in life, then so be it. Use me as your inspiration. I love who I am, personally, emotionally, physically, mentally and psychologically.

Find your inspiration and cling to it. It may be the only thing to get you through that grueling stretch in an event, where all you want is to bag it and say screw it, it's just not my day.

I have a new saying for me. I have it taped to my aero-bars on my bike. Pain today is a finish in May. I am currently re-building my base from the training layoff I've had. It's hard to get back in the swing, but it is so worth it. Have a great day, find your inspiration and get out there and move. Get up. Go. Take a walk, enjoy what you have while you have it. It is SOOO worth it.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lofty goals.

Hello all,
I have set my training goals for the month of February. I will pretty much go from a stand still to really in motion, but it is worth it. Here they are.

February goals. 4 weeks, no extra days.

Bicycle. - 180-240 minutes a week = 720-960 minutes for the month of February. 12-16 hours for the month.

Run - 90-180 min/wk = 360-720 minutes for the month. 6-12 hours running.

Swimming - get in what I can without a pool membership anywhere.

Weights. get in what I can, more toning, start the 100 situps routine.

I have a 30 mile bike ride on February 7 in Savannah, GA. I am looking forward to that. I like cycling and doing it with a bunch of people who have a common goal is nice. We are all team captains with bicycle teams that ride in MS 150's around the Southeast US. This will be nice. One of my team mates and also a walk captain will be joining me. We are staying at the Inn at Ellis Square in Savannah. It looks nice and it is near the river front. COOL!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Okay, I'm Back

After an emotional couple of weeks and illness, I am finally back in the swing of things.

I did a one hour walk yesterday and felt the muscles this morning from trying to maintain my balance on soggy, uneven torturous ground covered by snow. Even more fraught with dangers. You don't know what's under the snow... including holes and branches that could roll an ankle. I felt my inner thighs, groins, back and quad muscles.

Today I decided it was time to get back up off my FAT ASS and move. I got up, put Ironman in the dvd player, turned it on, climbed on the bike and did intervals.

I found a great thing on iTunes, which is also available online. It's at

Each week they upload alternative music, with a 10 minute warmup, about 40 minutes of cardio paced music, and then 8-10 minutes of cool down music. I did the first workout with it today and it helped a lot.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Okay, so I will admit that I was a little worried about the neck with starting training again. So, I know it's only been 3 days of training (out of the last 4) and the neck feels okay, shoulders are a little tight, but that is to be expected with ZERO activity since Oct. 19 at my last triathlon. My results at the time were encouraging considering that my training time was quite limited due to the neck injury. Well, all signs appear to be positive.

I am more aware of what my body is doing during training, as far as my shoulders. I have a picture from my last triathlon and I look like no-neck Prater. My shoulder were up so high, I think they actually were touching my ears. NOT GOOD!!! So, on the treadmill and bike, I have been Uber-conscious about where my shoulders were and making sure to drop them down. No tension in the shoulders means less neck pain. I caught myself on the bike last night with my shoulder creeping up while in aero, and kept dropping them to where they should be. I spent 60 minutes on the bike last night and walked/jogged this afternoon for 32 minutes. I know I shouldn't be feeling awesome this early, but I am feeling like less of lump of fat and more of a triathlete.

Swimming..... that will be a challenge. due to finances, I had to drop my gym membership, and that SERIOUSLY effects my swim training. I am going to have to find a masters class to get some training in on the swim. My first sprint is in June and swimming helps my fitness level bunches. Although, if I keep jogging and cycling like this, the swim will take care of itself.

Next goals on the jog/walk is to improve my breathing and get to a 1:1 or 2:1 jog/walk ratio. I have a 5k on May 23 and Mitch and I are doing it together. It's called skirtchaser.

I have officially converted to the skirt. Now I just need to buy me a jogging skirt. I have two bike skirts.

I'll post my motivational picture soon (yuck.) Here is your warning... it isn't pretty, but it isn't for you either. It's for me. I will have a copy on my fridge, on my phone and anywhere I need to see if frequently to remind me to HTFU and get moving. Happy New Year y'all and get moving.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Here we go.

First run was okay on monday. It was supposed to be a 40 minute run. I only made it 22 minutes, but that's okay. I am starting at dead zero again.

I have found a few things, I think y'all should know about. (my support system, outside of the family.)

So, here we go.