Friday, September 19, 2008
Took 2 spinning classes this week -- what a workout!! The first 10 minutes are a warm up--legs churning almost as fast as possible to the pulsing music with little to no tension on the fly wheel. Even at this easy level, I can feel the beads of sweat beginning to appear, giving my skin that healthy glisten or glow.
Then for the next 30 minutes we gradually crank it up as if we are climbing a very steep hill. Up off our seats, leaning forward we dig in as the instructor encourages us not to slack off--crank it up!! don't hold back!! Just when I think I can't stand another minute, we alternate sitting and standing--even more strenuous than just doing a "run." I concentrate on the music as I urge my legs not to give up and exhort myself to give it my all.
The sweat is no longer beading and glistening. It's dripping onto the floor and my glasses, running into my eyes, and spattering on the floor. I swear the woman in front of me must be getting sprayed when the sweat drops onto the flywheel.
The next ten minutes we alternate sprints with fast spinning. It is so tempting to slack off, but I remind myself that I'm only going to get out of the workout what I put into it. I look around the room and am inspired by the "regulars" in the class--they are going at it as hard as they can. And the instructor seems to maintain her cadence no matter whether we're spinning on the level or climbing the steepest hills. She's amazing. So, I dig in and sprint for all I'm worth.
Relief flows through my body when I hear the cool down music; just five minutes to go. I've made it!
Saturday, September 06, 2008
This was to be the week that the scales tipped ever so slightly to the left. But Wednesday evening I went out for some fine dining with my husband and some of his friends from college.
Moments into opening the menu drool was slipping out the corner of my mouth as I poured over items like lobster bisque, greek flat bread with feta cheese and caramelized figs, braised short ribs with demi glace, thai-style shrimp, and grouper with curry sauce.
The waiter started with me, but I begged to be last--I just could not make up my mind. As each person ordered, I grew more enticed by their selections. At last, it was my turn--Greek flat bread (it was a whole freakin pizza!!!) and curried grouper. It was fabulous.
Then the dreaded after dinner question--dessert anyone???? I knew that if even 1 person ordered, I would too. Around the table--1st and 2nd person declined, the 3rd struggled . . . and caved (apple pie). Another person passed, and then another ordered. Then it was my turn. I'm always game for contrasting flavors, so when the chocolate jalapeño tort was described, I knew it was mine.
Up to that point, I was feeling just the way you should--satiated, but not uncomfortable. About half way into the tort, I couldn't eat another bite. All of a sudden the waist on my pants were biting into my flesh. It was like someone had just inflated a giant balloon in the middle of my gut. Ugh!!! Why, oh, why did I just sabotage my week???
Thursday morning I awoke still full from dinner. Didn't eat breakfast until 10:30--some yogurt and a half a banana. The rest of the day I carefully watched what I ate and drank a ton of liquids--I would have to do something for having made out like a porker the night before.
Around 7:30 pm I slipped on my running shoes and headed out the door for a run. It was a little humid, but the sun was going down so it wasn't too hot. Lots of couples, families, and dogs were taking advantage of the lovely evening.
My longest run to date has been 4.4 miles, but since I was doing penance, I was pushing myself to run further--around 5.5 miles. The last mile was a killer. My stomach was beginning to cramp, it was dark and difficult to see any uneven pavement, and I was so tired it was hard to keep my concentration. But I made it--it took an hour.
Around 10:30 I went to bed after sucking down a lot of water and some Gatorade. 11 pm -- up to go to the bathroom. 11:30 legs began cramping--drank another glass of water & walked around a bit. 11:45--back to bed. 12:15--to the bathroom. 1:30--legs cramping . . . . and that was how the entire night went over and over. Finally around 4 or 4:30 my legs quit cramping, I quit drinking, and I got a little sleep. Friday was hazy and not very productive.
Did the penance work? I sure hope so. Believe me, the meal was NOT worth the penance. At the very least, I have a new game plan for ordering in restaurants---order first. And if the food is rich, order 2 light appetizers--one as an appetizer and the other for the entrée. I'll put this game plan into action on the 15th when I get together with my friends. Stay tuned.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Today was the day to ride a minimum of 60 miles as part of my training to ride a Century in early October. Up at 6:15 a.m. and out the door after a power-stoking breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast (one of the great benefits of long-distance biking). It took only a matter of minutes before getting in the "zone." Just pedaling along and enjoying the scents and scenery around me--Watching hawks soar in the air, looking for deer, smelling the phlox and other wild flowers. Happens every time I ride.
You should know that I'm not a gonzo-girl, jumping into the deep end before contemplating my ability or the risks. I'm more the dip my toe into the water to test it first. Then, if it's not too cold, not too swift, not too whatever, I'll jump in. So taking a detour, when I don't know where it will lead, can be a little unsettling.
About 10 miles into the ride, I finally popped out of my zone while whizzing downhill at almost the speed limit: 25 mph. Wait a minute!!! I wasn't supposed to be here--where was the mildly undulating road I'm used to? I had missed it. I was in trouble . . . how was I going to get back up the hill and when was this downhill ride going to end? I always rode west to east to avoid the hill. Couldn't imagine climbing back up this early on my ride and still having anything left to finish 60 miles.
But I kept hurtling downhill, watching the odometer click off the tenths of a mile. When I reached bottom, I realized that the hill was more than a mile long, but how much longer I wasn't sure. Despite my misgivings, I turned around and started pedaling. The hill started out with a very short, but steep incline. I began talking to myself--the great success story I'd tell my husband when I got home. Then it mellowed out--a long, slow, not-as-steep-as -I thought climb, but tiring nevertheless. I passed the speed limit sign--no worry I'd be exceeding the limit now. I began to compose this blog, searching for pithy one-liners (as difficult as climbing the hill). About 3/4 of the way up, it steepened again. I dug in. No way was I getting off the bike. More muttering--"I can do this, I can do this . . . . oh, shut up and keep pedaling." I came to my turnoff, just short of cresting the hill. Well, I had ridden this far, keep going. So I climbed the last few yards--I made it!! I climbed a 1.75 mile hill!
I was tired, but I felt great. I would not have deliberately challenged myself to climb that hill had it not happened accidentally. And I would have deprived myself of the joy and exhilaration of proving myself. It was worth it.
The rest of the ride went off without a hitch. I finished 60.73 miles in 6 hrs., 45 mins.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Twice a week I run a loop around town--2.7 miles. I was disappointed when I measured the distance; thought for sure I was running 3 miles. Our town's population is shrinking, could it's geographic size be shrinking, too?
Today I decided to stretch the distance just a bit. Haven't measured the mileage yet, but my run took 49:30--the longest time I've run so far. Despite the heat and humidity, it was an easy run until I hit the last hill, which I walked. Who knew that being sweaty and heavy breathing would feel so good. Maybe the next run I'll be able to make it the entire distance.
Gotta go--Daisy hasn't had her exercise yet and she's squeaking and pushing her squeaky ball onto my lap. Time to give her some attention.
PS: 8/31/08 Yesterday's run was 4.4 miles
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I've been dwelling on today's race since I took a practice run on the course last week. The course has 3 good-sized hills, and I had to walk more than I would have liked. So I changed my expectations from setting a personal record to just finishing the race.
Then last night I watched the Olympics' men's marathon. All of the athletes are amazing. Three runners had taken a strong lead, but at the very end, the 3rd place runner had nothing more to give, and slowly, but surely, the 4th place runner caught & passed him and won the bronze. I was elated for the bronze winner, but felt empathy for the runner that came in 4th despite giving his best.
Overnight, my perspective on today's race changed--I went to bed determined to give it my all and to try to set a personal best. The biggest hurdle wasn't the hills, it was my attitude. I gave it my all--didn't have any kick left as I came into the finish line--and had a personal best 31:04.
Get An Email Alert Each Time 2WHEELER Posts