Friday, October 25, 2013
I joined the Tri-City Court Club today. It has two pools, including one that is always available for laps. (Not just a lane or two - the entire pool!) The membership is $66 a month, which is a little stiff, but not as bad as I'd feared, and it's within my budget. Jim & I quit drinking about a month ago. We were spending $100 a month on alcohol (mostly him, though). So there's room in our budget now.
The club has several studios for group classes, a cardio equipment room, a weight room with a machines and a separate area for free weights. I'm hopeful that making this commitment will increase my likelihood of actually doing strength training.
This gym is 8 miles from my house and 8 miles from work. I'm considering riding there in the wee early hours of the morning to swim before work and then riding to work. I'd have to leave the house around 5 (yes, they're open that early), but I may try that a few times. Talk about hardcore!
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Yesterday was the Howl 'N Scream Scram. I rode my bike to the staging area. Despite my reservations, I suspect the only thing that would have kept me off the bike was a heavy rain (which we don't get here very often, because we only average 8" of precipitation a year) or a nasty wind (which is very common here). I arrived about 20 minutes early. I hope that was enough to get my running legs under me. It sort of was, but the first minute of the run they still felt like bricks.
I volunteered for this event several years ago. It seemed kind of disorganized. It did this year, too. I walked up to the sign that read "5K Check-In/Registration." I said I was checking in for the 5K. She pointed at a table about 20 feet away and said, "You need to go over there." What is this, a treasure hunt?
I got into my costume (a Seattle Seahawks uniform from the Chuck Knox era, minus the pads and the helmet) and followed the people who were wandering down to the start area. The kids were finishing up their run. The guy with the bull horn announced the 5K would start in 5 minutes. I headed back up to the tables to see if there was a course map available. I didn't see one. I asked if there was one. The lady said, "I don't know. They're about to start. You need to get down there." I thought that was awfully bossy. I've volunteered for events, and I know it can be stressful. And she'd probably been there for hours and was weary of answer the same questions over and over. But I was a little put off by her tone and choice of words.
I was at the start with plenty of time to spare. I walked the first 30 seconds, then started running. I followed my plan of running for two minutes and walking for a minute for the first 20 minutes or so. After that, I did a 1:1 ratio. (My morning runs are only about 20 minutes right now. Once I'm able to run the entire time, I'll work on extending my time.)
I was wearing a Steve Largent jersey. He's kind of a hero to Seahawks fans. Super-nice guy. Wide receiver. Broke Art Monk's record with 128 consecutive games with a reception. After being knocked down with a concussion by a Denver Broncos defender, he returned the favor: the same guy caught an interception, and Largent hit him so hard he fumbled the ball and the Seahawks recovered the fumble. Pretty tough guy for a tall, skinny wide receiver. I got several shout-outs for Largent. I pointed out the irony of wearing a wide receiver's jersey, given how slow I am. Too bad I didn't have a Cortez Kennedy jersey.
My time was 33:07. I'm pretty happy with that. I was even happier when I mapped out the course and discovered it was 3.64 miles. That's 5.86 km. That gives me an average pace of better than 6 mph. Not bad for having walked half of the course!
And then I went home and we painted the trim on the front of the house. Yeah, I know how to SELL-UH-BRATE!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I was at REI today. On the closeout rack, there was a Zoot Tri suit, XL, for less than half price.
Does it fit? No. Will it fit? YES!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Today, as I was standing in the hallway in my bike clothes, waiting for the elevator, I was looking down at my tights-clad legs. I flexed my quads. I thought, "I love my body."
I am overweight. My BMI is just under "obese." This 185 pound body is not rippling with muscle. I have very long legs (I'm 5'6", and I have a 32" inseam), so I can carry an extra 20 pounds and still be pretty fit. But I consider 185 pounds to still be 20 pounds over what I'd like to weigh. (I'd love to get back to the 150 pounds I weighed when I was 20 - I was gorgeous!) So, my declaration of love for my body was not based upon how "hot" I look.
Back fat, saddle bags, inner thigh fat, round belly - I do not love them. But overall, I really do love my body. Every day, I thank God for my healthy body that does practically everything I ask it to. (It's not my body's fault my will power and discipline sometimes fail me.) I'm fit enough to commute by bike most days. I run, I hike, I ski, I swim. A lot of people would love to be healthy enough to do that. I don't take it for granted.
My body isn't as aesthetically pleasing as I'd like, but the power to change the outside package lies within me. Deciding to switch to multisport has allowed me to consider the possibility of getting my body weight down to the 150's. I've spent the last 20 years telling myself that while I could do it, I don't want to work that hard. Now, anything is possible.
So, I love you, body. I may say bad things about you from time to time, but please know that deep down, I recognize your faults are mine, not yours. Thank you for being strong, healthy, and resilient. Thank you for going days on end with 6 hours of sleep a night, only to get the occasional reward of a full 8 hours of sleep. Thanks for running reliably, even though I sometimes fuel you with absolute crap.
And thank you for looking so amazing in tights.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Yesterday, I decided that today would be a brick workout day. My bricks are still pretty wimpy, but I'm the type that prefers to start slow and work my way into things. Last night, I put the clothes I thought I would need for the run next to the front door. That way, I could get home from my ride and be off on my run pretty quickly.
Other than briefly being downwind of the waste water treatment plant, the ride home was lovely. I averaged nearly 15 mph on my round-trip commute. That pleases me. The best thing I saw on the ride home: a woman riding her bicycle wearing a backpack designed to hold a small child. In the backpack was a small dog. Its paws were on the woman's shoulders. It appeared to be having a grand time. That's a devoted pet owner!
Upon arriving home, I timed my transition. It was about five minutes. Not bad, considering it involves me securing the bike in the garage. I've learned a way to switch over much faster: instead of trying to swap out bras, I put the running bra on over my medium-impact bra. I also went with the FiveFingers Bikalas instead of the KSOs for the same reason: much easier to get onto my sweaty body!
So, fuel belt on, out the door I go. I started running immediately. And almost immediately, I started to feel a cramp in my left calf. Not a debilitating one, though. I ran through it. It was a little cranky the entire time, but it didn't screw up my stride, and the pain lessened. I'm pretty proud of myself for that. Once I decided to keep running, my inner coach started whoopin' it up. You are a warrior! You are an athlete! Good on ya!
I switch between running and walking at about equal intervals. My interval is about 90 seconds. Last time I did a brick workout, I looked at my watch between 43 and 45 seconds every time I was running. EVERY TIME. Tonight, I made it a minute before checking my watch. I view that as progress: I'm getting stronger and fitter. Yay, me!
At about 1.4 miles, I started feeling a weird pressure/pain sensation between my second and third toes on my left foot. I kept wriggling my toes, hoping it would move something around and make that sensation go away. It didn't. I ended up talking off the left shoe and walking the rest of the way wearing one shoe. It was interesting experiencing one bare foot and one foot shod in a FiveFingers shoe. They are NOT the same! It gave me an appreciation for how much cushioning there is on the balls of the foot of those shoes. It felt like a cushy layer compared to the natural cushioning in my bare foot. Clearly, I do not anticipate being tempted to try running truly barefoot. The asphalt in my neighborhood is in pretty good shape, and I didn't encounter any dangers to my unshod foot, but I did not like it.
I'm pretty happy with my mini brick. I'd hoped for two miles, but I ended up with 1.9. (My first 5K is in 9 days.) I'm really proud of myself for running through the cramp. If the pain had become severe, or it messed up my stride, I would have just walked the two miles. But I trusted my body, and I tuned into what was going on. My instincts were right. I've been rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, instead of a wistful "what if..?" feeling.
I still have a long way to go before I'm ready for a triathlon. But today was one of those little milestones that keep me motivated. So yeah, I'm pretty pumped.
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