Tuesday, March 31, 2009

38 is warmer than 28

Got up early this morning to meet the Terriers at 6 in the park. I knew when I woke up at 4:30 that there was no way that I was going to oversleep and miss this workout. I left my apartment around 5:30, since I wasn't sure how long it'd take me to jog to the meeting spot. It turns out that I probably only need 15 minutes in the future (it's a 1.4 mile distance).

Once everyone got there, we did some drills (mostly sprints this time with some cadence and strides emphasis). Then we all jogged to the "S", which is code for start. The "S" is near Tavern on the Green, so that was a 1.2 mile jog. Then depending on what type of race you're training for there was a workout where the Olympic group was supposed to 1-800, 2-400, 8-200. I am definitely one of the slowest people there (although a couple of the other slower people seemed to have dropped out by the time we got to the workout portion). I also didn't quite finish the workout. I did the 800, the 2 400s and 5 of the 200s and then called it a day. All in all, the workout portion was 1.6 miles.

I liked today's workout more than last week because the weather was nicer and since it was a lot of running back and forth I didn't feel quite as slow since we always stopped before starting again. The coach gave me a tip about how I'm swinging my arms, so I'm going to work on that from now on. The total distance for today, including the drills, was 4.5 miles. My heel is still not feeling that great. It didn't bother me too much during the beginning of the workout, but by the time I left it was feeling a bit worse. I'm hoping that if I take it easy with the running for the rest of this week it'll be back to normal.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Swimming at Night is NOT Recommended

Yesterday I didn't make it to the group Terrier swim because I decided that watching MSU getting to the Final Four (!!!) was more important! I'm very glad that they won because otherwise I would have been really upset for missing the swim. As it was, after the game, I was just not in the mood to go to the gym and decided to keep watching basketball. That's sort-of athletic, right?

This morning I slept in and so I went swimming after work today. If I ever feel like I want to sleep in and go swimming at night, I hope that I remember today as it was horrible. The pool was really crowded and people would only swim on one side of the lane so that only 2 people could be in each lane. Why isn't circle swimming the law? I didn't have a reservation but when I got there the lifeguard told me to swim in one of the reservation lanes. I had been swimming for 27 minutes and another lifeguard told me that I had to get out because there was someone with a reservation that was supposed to use the lane. I argued and said that I wouldn't get out until I had been swimming for 30 minutes. I thought that my argument was fair. The second lifeguard said that I should have been told that it was a reservation lane. I was told that (and of course, I already knew that) but if they're going to enforce this so strictly, why didn't they tell any of the other 3 people swimming in "reservation" lanes to get out? Also, the people in one of the outside lanes had been there for longer than me, so if it's similar to the cardio equipment and we all get a 30-minute time limit, shouldn't one of them had to get out? I sort-of didn't really care what the lifeguard said because I knew he wasn't going to get in the pool and drag me out and even if he asked me what my name was there was no way that I would tell him. If there are going to be strict rules about reservations, etc., then they should post rules (and there are no posted rules).

Anyway, I did use my new watch in the pool today and it worked just fine. I wanted to use the lap function and I just counted to 10 and then counted that as a lap so that I didn't have to press the button each time. I actually liked just counting myself more than using the lap button. Although I did like having the watch on to know exactly how long I had been in the pool.

In total, I swam 90 laps (.92 miles). I think that's almost exactly the triathlon distance. I feel pretty good with that time although of course open water will be different.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Picked Up My Real Bike ... and Went to the Gym?

This morning Drew and I went to go pick up my bicycle. We did look at the bike shoes and it looks like it would definitely be a good investment (as a side note for future reference, the Specialized shoes fit best), but I think I need to just get used to riding my bike in general before I add anything else into the mix.

After we picked up the bike, we went to the gym and I a 5 minute warm-up on the spinning bike before doing some weight lifting. I did leg presses, seated row, hamstrings and lat pull downs. I then went back to the spinning room and did another 25 minutes on the bike. I should have done a run today, but since my heel still isn't feeling better, I decided to skip the run. I finished up with stretching and crunches and then headed home.

Since the weather held and there was no rain today, I went for a short bike ride just to test out my new wheels. I only went 5.4 miles today on the real bike. I could have ridden for longer, but I didn't want to be gone from home for too long (Drew was making pizza for lunch) so I only was gone for about 40 minutes. I practiced shifting gears, although I'm definitely going to need some more practice on that. I did really well when going uphill, but need to work on the downhill shifting, as I really like to just coast. I think that this bike is going to be great and I can't wait to ride it a lot more.

Things I learned today:
* I need a vest/shirt with a back pocket
* It is really hard to set the bike computer (although after getting only mildly frustrated, I did it!)
* My helmet clip rubs against my left ear the wrong way
* I don't love riding in traffic - especially Columbus Circle - I have no idea how to navigate that
* I have a paranoia about getting a flat tire and need to learn how to change/patch a flat
* I wish that there was 2-way traffic on the road in the park so that I could go north and come back home (and avoid the Harlem hills!)

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Cardio Bike (Again)

I decided to sleep in again this morning, so that meant going to the gym after work. Today I was supposed to do a 40 minute bike ride. Because my gym has a horrible spinning class schedule, which I cannot ever make time-wise or get into because 700 people are ahead of me on the waiting list, I ended up doing the cardio bike.

I did level 8 on the cardio bike the entire time since the workout was supposed to be zones 1 & 2 and I was supposed to keep focused on keeping the same cadence the entire time. I just felt really tired the entire time I was pedaling. I think I'm just having a bit of an off week this week, but I'm hoping to get back into it next week so that I don't feel too bad taking it a bit easy on vacation the week after. In total, I did 10.19 miles in 40 minutes, so not a very fast ride, but I did concentrate on keeping the RPMs around 90. I would love to be able to try this out on my actual bicycle (which I'm planning on picking up tomorrow!), however it's supposed to rain all weekend. I'm hoping maybe one morning next week I'll be able to get out for a ride.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Quick Treadmill Session

This morning I just didn't feel like getting up early, so I didn't. I also am still having some pain in my left heel from Tuesday. I'm not 100% sure that this happened while running on Tuesday, but I think it's probably too coincidental to not be related. When I got to the gym tonight, I wasn't sure if I should try running or if I should do something else. I did get on the elliptical to see if that would be better, but it wasn't so I quickly got off. I ended up deciding to get on the treadmill because at the very least I knew I would be able to walk for a little while. I walked for 5 minutes and then jogged for 5 minutes and then alternated again. I only stayed on for 20 minutes and went 1.5 miles. The good news is that I don't feel any additional pain in my heel, so I don't think I hurt it anymore.

The best news from today is that my bike is in! I'm planning on going to pick it up on Saturday!! Yippee!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another Early Morning

To begin, I would just like to mention that I am still not a fan of getting up early. Yesterday's run really wiped me out and I think I was asleep by 8:30. I'm not really sure how people get up that early for work every day.

Today I met Laura at the gym for a swim. I did have an idea of what the Terrier workout was supposed to be, although I didn't think that I would come close to finishing it (it was 1.96 miles). I did do some of the drills that were listed and that we had done on Sunday. I think my least favorite drill is swimming with one arm. For some reason, that just makes me really tired. I did end up swimming 0.96 miles (94 lengths of the pool) in 40 minutes, which I thought was decent given the fact that I wasn't swimming the entire time (there was some discussion with Laura about pool temperature and swim caps) and the drills aren't as fast as regular swimming. I think the re-opened pool at NYSC is pretty good. I think the temperature is perfect once you get started swimming and it's exceptionally clear.

I think I might need to find a new bathing suit. Since the pH in the pool was off, something weird happened to my suit and cap (and by weird I mean they changed from black to gray).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

28 Is Cold

Yesterday I exercised the option of having a day off. No strength work-out, no yoga, nothing. I had brought stuff with me to work so that I could have gone to the gym during lunch, but I was just not feeling it and decided that I would just take the whole day off. I felt sort-of bad about it (like I was cheating) but it was also nice to just have a bit of a rest.

Today was the big running day with Terrier. Getting up at 5:10 was not my favorite and when weather.com said it was 28 but felt like 23 I really didn't want to leave the bed. However, I got all dressed and brushed my teeth and then I felt like I had to just go and see what it was like. Laura was right about the extra layer, which I definitely needed on the way to and from the park. I did end up getting a little warm while I was running, but I just unzipped my sweatshirt and was fine. The workout was really good. There were a lot of drills in the beginning, which Matt had told me about before. He had said that there would be skipping (and there was) but it wasn't nearly as much fun as it sounded, mostly because we had to clap our hands under our legs on every skip. The drills lasted about 20 minutes and then we all started the group run. The coach had told me when we started that I should just do a nice and easy run and not do the speed work that the group was doing. I was fine with that decision since my right quad is still bothering me a little bit and seems to feel just fine when I'm jogging but gets more aggravated when sprinting. So, the group set out on their run (either 4 or 6 miles depending on the group). I only ran for 20 minutes in the park and then walked back to Drew's. The run that I did in the park (according to Google pedometer) was 1.88 miles, so I feel pretty good with that number. I'm sure that I could have run faster, but not too bad for my first time out. I was glad that all the running was at your own pace so I wasn't holding anyone back and no one was waiting for me to catch up so I was able to just plod along by myself. I think that this will all be a lot better when there are not so many clothes involved, so hopefully the weather finally catches on and becomes spring!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Swimming with Terriers

Well, today was my first Terrier workout. I went to the intermediate group swim and swam in one of the fast lanes. There was definitely a big turn out of people - about 30 people. Unfortunately, the coach was not one of those people. Luckily one of the other group members came up with a workout for us to do, which was nice of him. I couldn't read the board (no contacts) so I just tried to follow the people in front of me as best I could. I did ask one of the guys in my lane, but he ignored me, so that wasn't very helpful. I was able to keep up with the lane that I was swimming with, so I felt good about that. I think that I am probably right to stay in the intermediate group for now. Although I sort-of hope that in a few months I am stronger in the water than I am now and could possibly move up. We swam for an hour and did 2800 yards (1.59 miles), so I'm definitely happy with that work-out. I'm still nervous for Tuesday morning, but at least I have the first group work-out under my belt.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

65 Minutes On The Treadmill

I did it! I didn't run the entire way, but I am extremely proud of myself and I'm feeling much better about Tuesday morning and the big run with the Club. I did a 5 minute walking warm-up and then covered up the control panel with my towel and just started running at 6.0 (1.0 incline).

I made it to 35 minutes (or 30 minutes running) without stopping at all. I think the running mileage was somewhere around 2.8 in my 30 minutes. I will say that getting to that point made me realize that I will be able to do this sprint triathlon, so that was enough to keep me motivated. I did take a little mini break and walked for 90 seconds and had a sip of water. I then bumped the speed back up to 5.6 and kept on running. I did take two more mini breaks of 60 seconds walking, but I was able to run the last 8 minutes without stopping at 5.5.

After I got to 60 minutes, I did the 5 minute cool down at 3.5 and then was off to do some stretching. My total mileage was 5.65 miles, but I think it's probably a reasonable assumption that I only ran about 4.5 since there is about 13 minutes of walking included in that mileage. Either way, I now know that I am capable of hanging in there for an hour and although I might be the slowest person on Tuesday, I will be able to do it. I'm still worried about a lot of things for Tuesday morning, but just having this little bit of confidence is going to go a long way. I also think it will be easier to motivate myself to keep going when other people are there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Uh Oh

Well, I was a big lazy bum this morning. I slept in instead of getting up to go swimming. Instead, I went to the gym after work with Drew. I decided to do some biking instead of swimming tonight. I have the worst luck for going to the gym while spinning classes are going on (although as a side note, it looks like Friday nights might be a good time to try a class as there were several spots available when I walked by the room). So, I rode the cardio bike instead of the spinning bike. I did the random hill setting on 10. I didn't want to do anything much higher than that because I'm still a little worried about my quad - even though it's feeling fine today I don't want to press my luck too much too soon. I went a total of 15 miles in 41 minutes and was really happy with my total. The workout that I was doing was a 40 minute ride but because I was so close to getting to 15 miles it seemed silly to stop at a random number.

Now, here's where the uh oh comes in ... I talked to the guy from Terrier Triathlon Club today. I pretty much felt like I'm in WAY over my head and he's probably regretting that I signed up for the Club. He said that I should go to the intermediate swim group on Sunday (it's at 4:30, which I find to be a horrible time) and then they'll see if I should be moved around from there. The scariest part was that he said that I should also come to the group run on Tuesday morning at 6. I had a small panic attack after I got off the phone with him. I have no idea if I'm capable of doing the running workout. And I'm nervous about getting to 72nd street in the park by 6 am. And I have no idea what the weather will be like or what I should wear or bring with me. I'm just so new at this and it's making me really nervous. I'm also scared that I will be the slowest one and people will be irritated that I'm going so slowly. Why on earth did I think group workouts would be a good idea? I'm really hoping that on Tuesday at around 8 that I'm feeling much better about all of this.

I have a plan about how to try to test myself a bit before Tuesday ... tomorrow I'm going to go running on the treadmill at a low speed and just see how long I can go. I'm hoping that I'm going to be surprised at how far I'm capable of going, but I'm also really nervous that I'll want to give up after about 15 minutes. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Made A Training Decision

The big news from yesterday is that I signed up with the Terrier Triathlon Club! I decided that I think that this will be the way for me to get the best bang for my buck. It's a year-long triathlon training club and they have group workouts 4 or 5 times a week. Most of the workouts during the week are in the morning, which is really nice because even if I did go back to working more hours at my day job, I'd still be able to make it to these Terrier workouts. I'm still not sure about all the details - I have to call them back today and talk more, but I'm really happy with this choice and am sure that I will have a great time getting to know some new people and it's nice that it's not race-specific so there is a potential to know some of these people for quite a long time.

This morning I got up early again to go to the gym with Drew. I had an optional strength workout and a run to do. I was supposed to ride the stationary bike for five minutes before doing the strength workout, which I think would have been a good idea, but the second I sat down on the bike my body wasn't very happy about the sitting part, so I just decided to do a couple of stretches to warm up my muscles and then go ahead with the workout. Drew thinks it's boring that I have to keep doing the same lifts, but it doesn't really bother me. The best thing is that they have fixed the seated row machine at my gym, so I won't have to do any of the 'stick your butt in the air' alternatives that he showed to me.

The run today was supposed to be a 20 minute strides workout where I sprint for 20 seconds and see how many strides I take in those 20 seconds. I started out with 7 minutes alternating walking and running and then started on the sprinting. I think I did 3 of the sprints before my right quad started bothering me again, so I slowed down and walked for 3 minutes. After that I decided that I wouldn't push myself too hard as I don't want to hurt anything so I just did some jogging for 3 minutes. Then I walked for 2 minutes and ran for 3 minutes again. I cooled down with a 3 minute walk. All in all I was on the treadmill for 25 minutes and went 2.2 miles.

I finished up with a lot of stretching and my crunches for the day. This getting up early in the morning stuff is making me really tired at night. Not too surprising, but it is weird to me to be sleepy at 9:30 or 10 instead of much later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Spinning Bike is Sweaty!

This morning I got up early and went to the gym with Drew. Today's workout was biking and there was a spinning class that started at 7 and I wanted to be able to use the bike before the class started. I'm still frustrated that you can't be sure of your distance or speed on the spinning bike, but I'm now looking forward to my real bike even more since I did get a small computer that keeps track of distance, cadence and speed. I also find the spinning bike seats to be extremely uncomfortable! All that aside, I was supposed to ride for 40 minutes. I was able to ride on the spinning bikes for 30 minutes before the room really starting filling up and then I moved over to the cardio bike (much better seat but the foot straps can't compare) for the last ten minutes. In the 10 minute cool-down on the cardio bike, I went 2.75 miles, so I'm sure that it's more than fair to assume that I went a total distance of 10-12 miles today. That's just a guess based on my prior bike experiences at the gym, but I think it is a fair estimate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Did They Fit?

This morning I got up early and went to the gym with Drew. I did a 20 minute run/walk interval workout on the treadmill. The runs were at 8.0 and the walks at 4.0 with a 5 minute walking warm-up and 5 minute cool-down. The total distance was 1.75 miles.

Then I went to meet Laura in the pool for a swim. This was the first day that the pool was open in about a week. It was also the big goggle test. The pool was good. I thought the temperature was fine (Laura would disagree). The only issue with the pool is that it's not clear yet. Although in the scheme of things, that's probably okay since I'm just guessing neither of the triathlons will have clear water either. The goggles were fantastic! I'm glad to finally have a pair that don't leak. I'm just hoping that they'll stay this way for the next few months. I've never had such trouble with goggles before. I can't believe it. I swam for 40 minutes and did 100 laps (and incidentally I found it easier to count than to recite the alphabet). That 100 laps = 1.02 miles! Although I'll need to shave some time off of that for the triathlons, I wasn't pushing myself at all today, it was just a nice easy swim and I felt fine getting out of the water, so I have a little bit more confidence about triathlon swimming after this morning.

The bad news that I got today was that I will still be sporting my glasses for a while at the gym. I did get some trial one day contacts from the eye doctor, but I'm going to save them for vacation.

On the up side, I did get my new watch today. It has a 50 lap counter, which probably won't be enough for the pool if I keep swimming as much as I did today, but it will be nice to not have to think of it myself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Bought New Goggles

Tonight on my way to yoga I stopped at Sports Authority and tried on almost every pair of goggles that they had there that looked like they would fit my face better. I think I found a pair that will work out - although tomorrow morning will be the test in the water (as well as a test of the water as the pool re-opens tomorrow).

This morning Drew slept in, so I did too and opted not to do the optional strength workout at the gym today. Instead, I went to Yoga after work at Yoga Effects. This was the same class I went to two weeks ago where I wasn't that happy with the class (the room was cold and I didn't love the class). Today we had the same teacher (Sam) and she was much better today and the room was a really comfortable temperature. I also felt a lot better doing yoga today than I did last Thursday. My legs were able to hold the poses - although to be fair we didn't do nearly as many warrior poses as we did last week. I also felt like I was back to my pre-triathlon training flexibility, which was nice.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to go running (on the treadmill) and then meet Laura for a swim. She did give me four words to remember when I think that the NYC Tri is better or cooler than other triathlons: mouthfuls of Hudson River.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm Now Fully Committed

I bought a bicycle! It's a Specialized Dolce. The color is grey and it's got some white embellishments on it. Everyone else at the bike store was very concerned about the color, so I feel obligated to mention it here. I got it at Toga and Matt was nice enough to come and help with the whole process. I also got a helmet and various other bike accessories that I will apparently need. It really made me realize that I've got a lot to learn. The bike comes with toe clips, so I'm going to worry about bike shoes and clipless pedals later on. It'll take about a week for the bike to come in, so I'm just trying to be patient until then. I'm also hoping that we'll get some nice weather after that so I can go for some rides.

After the bike store, Drew and I went to get some lunch and we happened to over hear a girl at the table behind us talking about training for a triathlon. I talked to her for a minute and she's doing the NYC triathlon. Sometimes I feel like my two triathlons aren't as trendy or cool as the NYC tri, but as Drew pointed out, the swimming at Westchester will likely be a lot harder.

Today Drew and I went to the gym and Eric met us there (he got a 2 week pass to NYSC to go with Drew while he's staying with me). I had a run to do. This was a new one that I hadn't done before. I did a 5 minute walking warm-up and then alternated running for a minute (at 7.0) with walking for 30 seconds. I did those intervals for 19 minutes total and finished up with a 6 minute walking cool down. The total distance in 30 minutes was 2.63 miles.

I finished up with a long stetching session. My right quad is still really tired/tight from Saturday and now my left one is feeling pretty similar. I'm glad that tomorrow is just lifting and no cardio. I'm also hoping to make it to yoga after work tomorrow. I'm not sure that yoga will help my quads get any rest, but it will feel more restful than running or biking, I'm sure.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Got Hurt Stretching?

This morning I had wanted to go to Brooklyn and go on this beginner run, but with the weather being so cold, I didn't feel like I had the right equipment for cold weather running so I decided to pass. Instead, I went to the gym with Drew. I did 5 minutes to warm up on the treadmill. He had told me that he had recently tried putting the incline at the highest level and then walked. Of course, I had to give it a try. So, on incline 15, I walked at 4.0 for 0.31 miles, which wasn't easy! Luckily it was only for 5 minutes.

Then I went upstairs and did some lifting - leg press, calf raises, seated row, lat pull down and hamstrings. I would have done the bench presses, but they were all busy and I didn't feel like waiting.

My main workout today was biking. I was hoping that I could use the spinning bike, but I have the unfortunate timing to always be at the gym while there is a spinning class going on. I have tried calling to get into these spinning classes, but there are always waiting lists of 10 people, which seems like a lot. Maybe next time. So, instead of the spinning bike, I rode the cardio bike. I did 10.05 miles on the bike in 30 minutes. I did the random hill setting and put the level at 12, which was higher than I had done before. I started at 15 but quickly realized that wasn't going to last long. 12 wasn't any walk in the park either. When I got off the bike, I went to talk to Drew and he told me that he had been watching me for a while, which was sort-of embarrassing. I mostly go on the assumption that people at the gym are all concerned that people are watching, but no one really is and it was a little weird to know that someone actually was watching. At least it was someone I know!

I finished up with some stretching and crunches. When I was getting up from the crunches to do a few final stretches, I got a pain at the top of my right quad. I'm sure that it's just that I turned the wrong way or that it just got a little strained and hopefully it'll be fine tomorrow, but at the moment it's not very comfortable. Tomorrow I'm supposed to do sprint running, so I certainly hope it's better.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I forgot the alphabet?

I went to yoga last night, which was hard for me. The class was really good and I liked the space (Yoga Sutra) a lot. However, my thighs were just not happy about all of the Warrior positions that we had to do. I had a lot of trouble holding the poses, which was frustrating since it was a lot easier for me a few weeks ago (before I started working out every day). Hopefully it'll get easier again once my body adjusts to working out more often.

Tonight I went to the gym with Drew. We went to the gym at 3rd and 91st so that I could go swimming (my NYSC pool is closed). When I got there, the pool was really full. I didn't really have a pick of lanes - I just had to go in the one lane that only had one person in it. It actually worked out pretty well, as the guy that I was swimming with agreed to circle swimming (!) and he was a good swimmer as well, which made me swim harder and faster than I would have if I was in a lane by myself. I managed to pass him a handful of times. I did try to keep track of my laps, but somewhere around I and J I lost track of where I was in the alphabet and thought that it was more important to just keep swimming so as to not be passed by the other guy. I do know that the pool is 15 yards and I swam for 35 minutes.

The conclusion that I came to tonight is that I once again need new goggles. (Sorry, Drew). These new ones stay clear, but they just don't fit in my eye sockets very well so they leak a little bit. I'm really concerned about where to find new goggles. I'm not sure I can find ones that will fit on the internet and the sporting goods stores in NYC are seriously lacking in the goggle department. I'm sure that there must be a swimming speciality store here. Or maybe Paragon (although I remember being less than impressed when I was there last time).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I start at the Y and end up at NYSC?

I met Laura this morning at the 'other' 14th Street Y (McBurney) for a swim. First there was a big to-do because although Laura and I both had our passes from the Fitness Book, we didn't have the actual book with us, so we had to fill out guest passes. The pool itself was pretty crowded since there was also a master swim group that was taking over a couple of the lanes. Before we had gotten in, Laura had told me that a good way to keep track of laps was to do the alphabet rather than counting. That turned out to be a really good way to do it (although at the end of my second time through the alphabet I must have skipped a letter). I think we swam for about 35 minutes and I got through the alphabet twice and got to the letter F before something happened in the deep end of the pool and the water turned into ice. Then it seemed like a good time to get out. I think the pool is 25 yards long and I swam 58 lengths of the pool. If my math is correct (which I'm not sure it is) that would mean that I swam .82 miles today. I think that means that the sprint triathlon will be a piece of cake! [As an aside, the woman at the Y said the pool was 75 meters, but there is no possible way that can be correct, so I'm going off the basic 25 yard pool length].

After we got out of the pool, we headed back to the locker room where there were no hair dryers. I'm not really sure how a "state of the art" facility that has a basketball court, swimming pool, and even a swimsuit dryer can get by without having a hair dryer. Even the real 14th Street Y (which isn't close to being state of the art) has hair dryers! At least Laura had the brilliant idea that we could go to the NYSC (which luckily was across the street) and dry our hair. And then it was off to work. I'm thinking of trying to go to yoga tonight, although I have to figure out where and when first!

And, to answer Billy's question ... I'm not hating running as much as I used to. I'm still not sure I'm liking running, but it could possibly maybe happen in the future.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

There Is Smoke Coming Out of Those Pedals

Got up early to go to the gym with Drew this morning. I did 5 minutes on the treadmill (0.50 miles) to warm up and then went to lift weights. Did the same basic weight lifting routine: leg press, calf raises, seated row & bench presses. Then I went downstairs and ended up riding the bike since all of the other cardio equipment was occupied. I did the random hill setting and stayed on level 10 for the majority of the time. I went 11 miles in 30 minutes (there was some concern that I wouldn't make it to an even amount towards the end so the last 2 minutes were spent pedaling furiously!).
I finished up with my crunches and some stretching. While I was doing my crunches I noticed a girl in the stretching area doing the crunches in a different way (she had both of her legs over to the side and then was lifting up). I think I might like to try those next time, but I didn't want to look like a copy cat and do them today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cardio and More Cardio

Today's workout was supposed to be a 20 minute interval run. So, I started on the treadmill with a 5 minute walk and then did 14 minutes of intervals of 30 seconds running and 30 seconds walking. I did the running at either 6.5 or 7 and the walking at 4.0. If I ever have the opportunity to design a treadmill or the occasion to buy a treadmill, I am going to demand that I am able to type in the speed that I'd like to go. I'm a little sick of pressing up and down and then having it go over or past the speed that I'm actually wanting to go! After the intervals, I decided not to stop and do the cool down walk like the book said, but to do a 5 minute run (at 7.0). I then finished up with a 6 minute walk. My total distance on the treadmill was 2.55 miles.

Since I had gone to the gym with Drew and he was doing an hour of cardio, I figured that I might as well stick around the gym and do the same. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine in intervals and did a total of 2.4 miles.

After finishing up with some stretching it was time to call it a night. I'm getting to the point where I think that I can do more than the workouts in the book call for and I'm not sure how best to spend my time. If I should pace myself and not do too much too soon or if I should push myself a little bit.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Pool Is Closed Until March 17!

After getting back from D.C. early this morning and the time "springing forward" it seemed like an excellent idea to catch up on some sleep. Which meant going to the gym in the evening.

Nicole had asked me this morning if I'd like to go swimming with her after work. Of course, the pool is closed, so that wasn't an option. Luckily, she was still willing to go and ride the bike. I rode the cardio bike for a half hour on the random hill setting. The bikes were a popular place tonight so the one that I was on didn't have foot straps, which really makes it a bit harder. I also put the bike on a harder level than I had been doing last week, so in 30 minutes, I went 10.8 miles.

After the bike ride, I went on to do today's optional strength workout. I'm now onto Strength Workout #2 from the book, which is the same equipment as before, but heavier weights. I'm getting a little frustrated that my gym still hasn't fixed the seated row machine, because I just think I'll look like an idiot with the alternative that Drew showed me. (It mostly just looks like you stick your butt out and with all those sweaty boys around, I'm not sure that's my first choice). So, I skipped the seated row. I also wasn't really a fan of doing weight lifting after the cardio. I was more tired and didn't do as good of a job as I know I'm capable of doing, so I'm going to try to keep doing weight lifting first. I think it is working more for me that way. We finished up with some crunches and stretching.

All in all, I'm very thankful that I've had so many people to workout with. It makes this whole process of going to the gym every day a lot easier for me!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Washington, Lincoln & The Capitol

This weekend in D.C. was fantastic! A chance to take in some sights, catch up with friends and even get in a good workout!

Saturday we spent being tourists and walking around museums and the Mall, so not exactly a "real" workout, but also not a day of being a couch potato either.

Sunday morning we got up early and had planned on going on a 2 mile loop from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Monument. We jogged to Lincoln in just under 11 minutes. We climbed up the steps (Drew showed off his skills from the Rockefeller Center climb) and said hello to the man from Illinois. Climbing down, we decided to do a couple of intervals back toward Washington. We ended up doing intervals the entire way. Once we got to Washington, we took a walk around the Monument and then did a sprint around. I finished mine in 47 seconds. Considering I had guessed it would take me 2 minutes, I was pretty happy with my time. Drew said he wasn't ready to go back to the hotel, so we decided to head toward the Capitol. We jogged more than half-way there (I'd guess maybe 0.6 or 0.7 miles) and walked the rest of the way there. When we got there Drew wanted to climb up those steps, but the 4 visible armed guards were a bit of a deterrent. We then headed back to Washington doing a variety of intervals - jogging, sprinting, karaoke and walking. All in all it was a 4 mile loop and it was all fun! Incredible! It all ended with a hot shower and a tasty picnic in Barack's back yard.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Does the Stop Button Have to be so Prominent?

Even though I woke up around 7 this morning and contemplated going to the gym, I'm much happier that I ended up going after work. I started off doing the (optional) strength workout that I have done previously. I think that next week the workouts change a bit, so that's something to look forward to. After I was done with that, I was supposed to do the same strides workout on the treadmill that I did last Friday. I did 7 minutes of warm-up alternating one minute of walking at 4.0 with one minute of jogging at 6.0. Then I would do a 30 second sprint followed by a minute of walking. I did the sprints at 9.0 (so, not as fast as last week) but I was able to do more sprints for at least 10 seconds longer each time. Unfortunately, I pressed stop accidentally at some point when transitioning from sprint to walk so, I have no idea the total distance traveled. Luckily, I had looked at the actual clock prior to starting, so I have a rough idea that I was on the treadmill for about 35 minutes and I did a 5 minute walk cool-down at the end. After that I headed over to the mat to do some stretching and crunches.

Tomorrow morning we're going to D.C. so I don't think I'll get an actual workout in tomorrow, although I'm planning on lots of walking around. Sunday we're hoping to go for a run in the morning ... at least the weather will be nice!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Biking for 20 Miles?

This morning I met Laura at the gym and we were planning on both using the spinning bikes that are out in the cardio area, but some woman had the same idea as us, so Laura used the spinning bikes and I used one of the other bikes. According to the monitor, I went 20 miles in 53 minutes! Who knows how accurate that is, but it makes me feel a little more confident about my ability to at least do the sprint triathlon. I put the bike on the random hill setting, so some of it was definitely harder than other intervals. My rear end still isn't that comfortable sitting on a bike seat for that long, but I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is the elliptical cheating?

So, I decided this morning that I should just get a good night's sleep while I had the chance. I went to bed around 10 and didn't wake up until 7:45. It was fantastic! Which meant that today I would have to make it to the gym after work. I was thinking about going for a bike ride, but Laura and I are going to meet tomorrow morning for the bike, so I decided to cheat a little bit and do the elliptical machine instead of running. I also wanted to finish my book and I haven't really mastered reading on the treadmill yet, so it was all a bit self-indulgent. I don't feel that bad about my decision as I still made it to the gym, which I think is the biggest obstacle for me right now in this stage of the game. So, I did the elliptical for 45 minutes, which burned 450 calories. I did interval training and traveled 3.9 miles. Who knows how accurate all of that is, but for the sake of posterity, I'm better off writing it down.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Feeling Tired

I went to yoga last night at Yoga Effects. The class was okay, but the studio was really cold the entire time, so that wasn't ideal for me. I used one of the yoga passes from the yoga book and I would definitely go back there again and give it another try.

Today I went to the gym with Drew. My workout was running and strength. I did a 5 minute warm up on the stationary bike (went 1.25 miles in 5:05 on level 6). Then I did the same strength workout I've been doing for the past few times at the gym - leg presses, calf presses, bench presses, lat pull down, and seated row. I would have done the hamstring raises as well, but both machines were occupied and I didn't really want to wait around forever. Then I went down to the treadmills for a run. I have been feeling a little stuffy the past few days, so I didn't push myself as hard as I could have on the run. My actual workout was a 20 minute run/walk session (running for 15 seconds and walking for 45 after a warm-up). So, instead I walked for 5 minutes and then alternated running and walking in .25 mile increments. I did a total of 2.5 miles in 32 minutes. Probably not my best workout, but at least I made it to the gym this morning, which is much better than nothing at all.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow, Bike & Swim

I got to the gym this morning at 6:30 and biked for 25 minutes. I was supposed to be working on the "dead spot" and smoothing that out. I think I did pretty well on that part. Then I met Laura at 7 for a swim for about 40 minutes. Not a bad workout considering the snowstorm that I had to trudge to in order to get to the gym and the workout I missed last night. Tonight I'm hoping to make a yoga class after work.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Gym Closes at 6?

I'll be the first person to admit that I don't like Sundays. I think that they were invented for lounging around the house and catching up on TV shows. In the spirit of that, I wasn't entirely motivated to go to the gym today. However, I knew that it would be better for me if I did and I did really want to try out the bike workout on the agenda. Unfortunately, both of the gyms in my neighborhood close at 6 on Sundays! My plan now is to get to bed early and get on the bike before the 7 AM spinning class starts tomorrow. And here I was hoping for a day off from cardio ...