Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Signed Up!

I signed up for a triathlon! On June 27 on Staten Island. It's only a sprint triathlon, so it's not too crazy. Based on this book that I'm using I should be fully prepared for this by then. I've realized that now I've got to speed some things up - buying a bicycle is number one on that list. And I've really got to take this training seriously.

With that in mind, I went to the gym with Drew this morning. We got there right at 8 to go swimming. Drew made me promise not to laugh at him in the pool but when he got in and started swimming, I couldn't help myself. I laughed out loud, which he gave me a hard time about. But he's just a sinker. I wish I knew how to fix that. I think it actually gives some tips in my book, so I might have to re-read that part. We swam together for 30 minutes while Drew practiced breathing, kicking and freestyle swimming. Then he got out to head to do his cardio and I stayed in for another half hour to swim on my own. Luckily, the lifeguard was testing the chemicals when I was swimming and they realize that the pH level is really high in the pool. Hopefully they can get that fixed by next week, since I won't have to be back in the pool until then and Laura was planning on swimming with me on Wednesday morning.

After swimming, I was supposed to do a 20 minute run/walk session. I walked for 5 minutes to warm up and then ran a mile. I then slowed down to walk for about 2 minutes and then ran another mile! I'm really proud of myself for running two miles. I know that they weren't quite consecutive, but I can see that it's not far off, so I can definitely start to see that I'm improving already, which is great. This sprint tri is a .25 mile swim, a 15 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run, so I've got to get up to running at least 3 miles. After finishing the second mile, I walked for another 5 minutes. All in all, I think the total distance was somewhere around 2.6 miles. I can't be quite sure of that because I had some user error with the treadmill and they put a stop button on the bar on the side that was a little bit tricky and caused my mileage to be wiped out. I was running at 6.0 speed and 1% incline. On the second mile, I bumped it up to 6.5 for the last 2 minutes. The first mile took me about 10:40 and the second mile was 10:00 exactly.

When I was done, I went to collect Drew from his cardio workout and we did some stretching before heading home.

Friday, February 27, 2009

30 Right Foot Strides

I did make it to yoga last night, although the teacher that I was hoping for (Cari) was sick and another teacher (Rachel) was teaching instead. The class was still good, just not what I had been expecting. Thinking about it last night, it seems like Mondays might be good days to reserve for yoga after work since they're supposed to be the day off from cardio. I'll still do the strength workouts, but it'd be nice to work some yoga in too.

Today's workout was running and optional strength. Since Drew was meeting Billy at the gym at 6, I got up and went with him at the same time. I did the optional strength workout, which was the same workout as Monday (leg press, calf raises, chest press, seated row, lat pull down and crunches). I also did hamstring exercises as well. I forgot until just this very moment (when I was looking at the book) that I was also supposed to ride the stationary bike for 5 minutes before to warm up and 5 minutes after to cool down. Oh well.
After the lifting, I went and did the run for today. It was supposed to be a 20 minute "strides" workout, but I did 30 minutes, so hopefully that makes up for the missed biking. The first 10 minutes I alternated running and walking for a minute each. Then for the next 10 minutes, I alternated walking and sprinting. The sprints were supposed to be for 20 seconds each and the book says that you were supposed to get at least 29 right foot falls in those 20 seconds. Each time I counted I was getting 30, so just right at the cut-off, but I'm thinking I can only get better and at least I wasn't under the proper number. I did the sprints at 9.5 and 0% incline since it said that you should be flat or slightly downhill. I'm thinking that this workout would be a good one for the reservoir when the weather is a bit warmer. I finished this off with a 5 minute jog and a 5 minute walk. The total distance was 2.6 miles.
After that, I went and did my crunches that were part of the strength workout and did some stretching. And now it's off to the shower!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chlorine or Chlorine Bleach?

First things first - I wasn't overly inspired by the TNT meeting last night so now I've decided to do Jack Rabbit training. I really need to make sure that this new work schedule stays in place in order to commit to JR. My plan right now is to try to purchase my own registration to the triathlon on March 3 and take another month to make my absolute final decision. And by then I should know more about work too.

I woke up this morning at 5:30 and stayed in bed for 15 minutes trying to will myself back to sleep but the will to do this triathlon won out. That seems crazy to me ... that I would willingly get out of bed so early, but it's happened several mornings in a row now!

I got to the gym right at 6 (when they opened) and headed for the bike. Today's workout was swim with optional biking, but I know since I'll be biking the longest and I'm a strong swimmer that biking is going to be an important thing to practice. I got to wear my new tri shorts, which made the ride more enjoyable. I used the cardio bike (but the upright one as opposed to the one that is more seated). I rode for 15 minutes and completed 4 miles. I was hoping that the machine would give me my average speed at the end, but it didn't. I definitely tried to keep it above 90 RPM the entire time and was pretty successful at that. I'm sure that someone who understands math could figure it out, but I'm not that person!

After the bike I went and changed for today's swim. I was nervous since the last time I went to the pool it was freezing, but I was only supposed to swim for 10 minutes according to the book and I figured even if it was cold I could tough it out. Luckily the pool was great temperature wise (it was 80 or 82 degrees - without my eye glasses I couldn't read the thermometer exactly) and it felt just fine while swimming. The problem with the pool today was that it smelled exactly like they had dumped Clorox bleach into the pool. Maybe with the economy they have to use that instead of chlorine? I'm sure that I ingested some of the pool water, so I'm now waiting to see if there are any side effects to drinking bleach. I'm pretty sure it's poison so if I die today at least I'll know why. I swam for 20 minutes. I really tried to concentrate on my stroke and breathing on both the left and right sides rather than speed.

And on top of all of this triathlon stuff, I'm hoping to make it to yoga class tonight!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

14th Street Y

I met Laura this morning for a swim at the 14th Street Y using the pass from the Fitness Book (I stole Drew's pass). I also can't go back to this Y because I stupidly presented my pass last time when the computers were down even though I should have just snuck in. The water was really warm (86) and we swam for a half hour. Tonight I'm going to the TNT meeting to see what they have to say. I'm interested to know how they suggest fund raising in this economy. I'm definitely still leaning toward Jack Rabbit, but I'm going to listen to TNT and see how I feel after the meeting.

This getting up early is making me very tired. I'm hoping that after another week of going to the gym every day I'll be more used to it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day #2 & Bike Ride #1

I'm pretty sure that Laura hates me. She asked last night if I'd like to meet her at the gym for a bike ride this early this morning and I agreed. At the NYSC at 51st and Lex there are two spinning bikes out by the cardio equipment, which is nice that they're not in the spinning class room. We were able to use those and had about a 40 minute bike ride. My biggest complaint is still that they're not hooked up to any sort of monitor so it's impossible to know how fast you're going or the distance, but I'm sure any sort of biking motion is helpful to me at this point. The best part about the bike riding this morning was that it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as I had prepared myself for. Granted, I'm definitely going to think about going to Paragon tonight (but mainly because I'm already planning on going to Union Square) and looking at the bike short selection, as I think it'll make all future bike rides better.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day #1

OK, so here I go! This morning got off to a rough start when Drew didn't want to wake up to go to the gym and we both slept in. I was a little worried that I wouldn't have the personal motivation to go to the gym today since it's Day Off/Optional Strength Training. I know I need to exercise the option, so ... I went to the gym after work!

Workout wasn't too bad - 5 minutes of riding the stationary bike (went 1 mile) and then a series of lifts and crunches followed by another 5 minutes on the bike (another mile).

Mostly I'm just proud of myself for getting to the gym. That is the hard part. Especially when the wind would like to blow you over on the way there! Hopefully when the weather gets warmer I'll already have my bike so I can practice that outside instead of inside. The stationary bikes at the gym leave something to be desired (only a couple have foot straps) and there are classes a lot of mornings and evenings in the spinning room. I'm going to have to work out those logistics. But that's something to worry about tomorrow ...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Workout

Well, I made it into the gym today, so I'm quite happy with that. I went with Drew, so we did 15 minutes of cardio on the treadmill. I walked for about a minute and then ran for 1.10 miles (at 6.0/1% incline) without looking at the clock or distance. I was counting songs, so I had a rough estimate from the number of songs that I had done about a mile, and was just about right on. In fairness, I did spend a great deal of time watching a woman in one of the exercise studios who couldn't do a push-up (even on her knees) at all. I'll be the first one to admit that I'm not great at push-ups, but I don't think I could even replicate her poor form if I tried! I walked for a couple minutes to finish that off.

Then we moved to the "boy area". I'm not a fan of the "boy area" but realize that it's good for me and an important part of this training. We did some bench presses (regular and decline) and then some stuff with dumbells, including skull crushers. Luckily, I did not actually crush my skull or my glasses, although I was nervous a couple times.

We did also go in the cycling studio for just a couple minutes so that I could try out the spin bikes. I think my biggest complaint so far is that I wish that they were hooked up to a machine so you know how far you have gone and what your average speed is. But, hopefully, I'll get myself a bicycle and the weather will change and I'll be able to ride more outside than inside.

Then we went to the stair mills. I did speed intervals on level 8 for 15 minutes and then I had had about enough of the gymnasium for one day! All in all (on the treadmill [1.33] and the stairmaster [1.36] I did 2.69 miles). Now I just need to read up on my book and the training plan so that I can get myself organized for Monday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Taking the Weekend Off

So, my friend Laura is arriving tonight and staying until Sunday, which means that I most likely will want to spend time with her that isn't time spent in the gym. As a result, I'm hoping to start the triathlon training program from the book next week and give myself the weekend off.

I went to the gym today after work to do some running on the treadmill. I had yet to run a mile without stopping (although the last time I went to the gym, that was the treadmill's fault as it was a poor design and my iPod went flying). Today I walked for 2 minutes just to warm up and then ran a mile (without stopping!) at 6.0 and 1% incline. It took about 10:40 to finish the mile. Then I walked for the next 7 minutes. I followed that with another 5 minute run at 6.0 and then cooled down with more walking until I got to 30 minutes. All in all, the total distance was 2.40 miles and the running distance was 1.40 miles.

I had some slight issues with my iPod shuffle today (like it stopped working after about 20 minutes), so I'm definitely going to have to look into that before next week!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Beginning

OK, so here's the deal -- I somehow got myself talked into training for a triathlon. The Westchester Triathlon on September 27, to be exact. I'm not a runner. In fact, I hate running. And my last real bike rides were in college on the Huffy I got when I was about 12. (That bike also had a Barbie bell, if I'm remembering correctly, and got stolen at some point, which could have happily marked the end of my bike riding career if it weren't for this). At least I know how to swim and I actually like to do it. So, this is going to be an interesting experience.

Now that I've decided to do it, the next decision is how to train for the big day. I got the book "Your First Triathlon" by Joel Friel, which includes a 12-week training program. My current plan is to start with this plan and then train either with JackRabbit (JR) training or Team-In-Training (TNT). Either would be another 12 weeks of training before the triathon but would be more disciplined than what I think I can accomplish on my own. JR is more personal cost and TNT is a lot of fund-raising. I'm currently leaning toward JR. Full disclosure: I went on Saturday to JR and bought new running shoes and talked with them about their training program. I'm planning on going to a TNT meeting next week, which might change everything. The open registration for the tri is on March 3, so I really need to decide how I'm going to train sooner rather than later so that if needed I can get my own registration.

My goal for this blog is keep a log of my exercise routine and accomplishments so that I can have something to look back on once I've crossed the finish line. Realistically I know that I won't post everyday, but ideally I'd hope that I can write even a sentence or two a few times a week.