Monday, December 09, 2013
I have today and tomorrow off. Finally took my road bike into the LBS for some much-needed attention. And then I headed for the gym.
A very large part of me wanted to settle in for a long winter's nap. It's still unseasonably cool here - highs in the 20's, overnight lows in the single digits. I'm usually okay with cycling down into the mid-20's, but I can't seem to get myself to do it so far this winter.
I swam for a bit. I spent most of my time in the pool backstroking just to get in a brief cardio workout. I tried a bit of Total Immersion Swimming drills. My most recent a-ha! moment proved to be true: I was letting my head drop entirely too low into the water. I found a "sweet spot" at which my body is balanced but my head breaks the surface. Sadly, I can't hold it very long because my neck/upper back muscles are weak. WEAK. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAK.
I then headed upstairs for strength training. I'm really making progress in that department. I'm using Holistic Strength Training for Triathlon, and instead of doing 3 sets of 8-12 reps with a weight that's heavy enough that you really struggle to do the last few reps, HSTT calls for one set of 20-30 reps with lighter weight. The suggestion is to quit with enough left in the tank that you can do one or two more quality reps. Form is really critical. HSTT means NO crunches, but to adequately train your core muscles, you have to engage them when lifting.
There's a lot of stuff done on a physio ball or a BOSU ball. Boy howdy, do those do a number on me! I'm supposed to be doing push-ups on a medicine ball. I use a BOSU ball instead - I can't do one quality push-up, so trying to do one with my hands that close together is probably impossible. I did seven lame push-ups on my toes and the remaining on my knees. I can really feel them in my shoulders. There was a time I could knock out twenty-five push-ups. Who knows - I may be able to do that again some day!
I've never been able to do a pull-up. The club has a machine that assists you - the most weight it will offset is 112 pounds. I've increased the number of pull-ups & chin-ups each time I've done a workout. I managed 6 (almost 7!) of each today. I've always wanted to do a pull-up. I'm confident that I will be able to do a pull-up some day, unassisted. I have no idea how long it will take me to get there, but it's going to happen.
I went to the club with a really lackadaisical attitude. I knew I was going there to workout, but I wasn't enthusiastic about it. I wasn't terribly enthusiastic post-workout, either. But I guess that was an important test: I didn't really want to workout, but I did. I love cycling, so even when I was ambivalent about riding, I knew that once I got warmed up I would be happy I was on the bike. (I've only regretted one ride in my life: the hell ride through the Yakima Firing Range on the Iron Horse Trail. No, the Army wasn't firing at us, but it was a truly awful ride. Worst ride of my life. The Hubs and I agree: the only good thing about it is that we never have to do it again!) But cycling is different: the ride is a joy in and of itself. A workout for the sole purpose of a workout is a different frame of mind for me.
It's supposed to be a little warmer tomorrow, but still in the mid-20's. If my knees are up to it, I may try to go for a short run. Last week, I ran two miles on a treadmill. I think I'd rather risk frostbite than go for another two mile run on a treadmill.