Saturday, February 16, 2013

Decadethlon – IronMom: The Next Five Years

In 2008, once I realized I was pregnant, I had to drop the soccer, but I still kept my workouts in the 20-30% range average of days worked out. In August I managed to work out eight out of the 23 days prior to my second c-section and was even equipped with Japanese birthing and newborn diapering terminology prior to entering the first-rate Sanno hospital in Tokyo. September saw zero workouts and just as few hours of sleep. On the bright side, however, for the first time since college, I accomplished hours upon hours of night reading and read the biggest books I’ve ever read in my life. Motherhood had made me literate again. 95 out of 366 days worked out, or 26%. Best month, January at 45%. Worst month, September 0% (an all-time low.)

2009 was neither a particularly productive nor lazy year, at an average annual rate of 35% days worked out. It was, however, an emotional one, as we left our beloved Tokyo for a move to Moscow via the US for six weeks of homeless home leave with two children, two cats, two car seats, 8 suitcases and 6 carry on bags. While nursing an infant at the same time as raising a toddler might on the surface sound like an anti-fitness-inducing formula, it is actually the act of moving house that robs one of one’s fitness routine or even the interest to maintain one. Early on, it was back to the no-impact yoga, pilates and swimming. By November my monthly workouts increased a bit to 40% as we settled into our new life in Moscow, for a second round of winters.

Despite a continuing breastfeeding schedule throughout 2010, with the help of an overly-dominating Russian nanny, I was still able to maintain a fairly high workout rate, averaging 54%, or 196 out of 365 days. Motherhood had made me more efficient with my time.

In 2011, I participated in my first Ironman Triathlon in Moscow. (Okay, let’s qualify this: It was all indoors and conducted over two weeks’ time. But I still finished, got my medal and learned to love the stationary recumbant bike!) This became my second best year, with a 62% average over the year of days worked out, or 228 days out of 366, and I was still nursing for the first four or five months of it. Taking up Tae Kwon Do with preschoolers also helped add to the workout numbers, as did joining an adult Tae Kwon Do class and earning my yellow belt, which had served as an incentive to make it to class. The shared pain of taking a Tae Kwon Do class together creates a kind of fitness-hood among fellow suffering classmates. (See my TKD blog entry on this below entitled “The No-Belt Prize for Piece.”)

In 2012, I embarked on my second indoor, two-week Ironman Triathlon and finished despite daily doubts even up to the last day of it and having a cold in the middle. Facial biopsy, followed by facial surgery, followed by a staggering three-week flu kept me from the gym during the first third of the year, as did some summer travel. In the fall, however, I began working towards my orange belt in Tae Kwon Do and preparing for a TKD exhibition tournament. In the end, I managed to have an annual average workout rate of 63%, tying with 2004 for the best year in numbers of workouts! (May, a travel month, at the low end at 35% and November, TKD preparation month, at the high end at a whopping 87%, but not without a high price: foot tendonitis from overtraining! )

And now, the graphs (you'll need a microscope)...

More next time in the Conclusion (finally!!) of Decadethlon – Lessons Learned (ie. Underperforming vs. Overtraining, The Ultimate Orange Crush, and How Chocolate, Fashion Magazines and TV Contribute to a Healthy Workout Schedule)

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