Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where Is The Wind?

Yesterday I had my regular pilates session with Nicole at 7:00. Her friend Cara came as well, since Laura had to miss the session. We did a couple of new moves on the tower, including one I really liked. I have no idea what the name of it is, but you sit facing the tower portion with your feet on the silver bars. You grab the wooden bar lift up and then pull down and push through toward the wall (I'm doing a horrible job describing this, I know). The short story is that you get this really great stretch at the end.

This morning I woke up to rain. No big surprise there, I know. And, of course, there is rain in the forecast every day for the next 10 days. I find this to be rather typical since I just cleaned up my terrace and my patio furniture and was hoping to spend more time out there ... and now there is nothing but rain in the forecast. Ugh.

I still consider myself to be a bit of a fair-weather triathlete, so I didn't want to brave the rain for the Terrier run this morning, so I slept in. Walking home from work today, it wasn't raining right when I left, so I was super optimistic that I might be able to get in a real run outside. Of course, about 5 minutes into my walk, it started raining again, so that idea was out the window. So, I came home, changed clothes and headed to the gym.

I haven't been to the gym in quite some time and my last time there wasn't my favorite. I really wasn't looking forward to running on the treadmill, but I knew it didn't matter and that I could hopefully get 5 miles in. However, when I got there, the gym was filled with meat-heads and every single (working) treadmill was taken. As was every single elliptical machine. So, that meant that I would be using the one available stair master.

I chose to do speed intervals. I thought I would start on level 10 (out of 20) and see how that went. After doing one slow and one fast, I figured I could bump it up to level 12. I had programmed that I would do 45 minutes and since I had no idea of what sort of distance I would get with that, I was hoping that it'd be somewhere in the same range as running for 45 minutes would be.

I forgot how sweaty the stair master is. It didn't take me long until I was just dripping with sweat, which I'm sure was not a pretty sight to see. It also didn't take very long for me to miss being outside. Even when it's hot out and I'm running, just the running itself creates a bit of a breeze to help cool down. That breeze does not exist on a stair master at the gym. Turns out I really missed that today.

I had taken my iPod with me to the gym as a bit of a treat, since with all my outdoor workouts I don't listen to music much anymore. It turned out to be a good thing since it really helped with my motivation. Around the 30 minute mark, I was definitely ready to get off the stair master. I tried talking myself off of the machine by saying that if I wrote my blog and said that I did it for 30 minutes, no one would know that I had planned for 45 if I didn't write it down. Then I realized that was a pretty bad attitude and I should keep going and be honest with my readers and myself.

The screen of the machine kept flashing all these statistics at me. The usual suspects: calories, distance, heartrate, flights climbed ... but then it also flashed statistics for METs and Watts. I had no real idea what a MET was and after reading that link, I'm still not really sure, but what I do know is that the lower level workouts were 7.6 METs and the higher level was 11.2 METs. Whatever that means.

In total, I went for 45 minutes and climbed a total of 233 floors and went an equivalent of 4.64 miles (which, if I had been running would have been a 9:41 mile pace). The stair master wasn't what I had planned, but I felt really good after finishing the workout that I had programmed for myself. I finished up with some stretching, which I haven't been doing enough of recently and it felt really nice to just give my muscles some love.

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