In the throes of an endorphin-filled haze, I signed up for an event. Not just any event, but one of the bigger, more competitive races in my area: The Patriot Half IM. I’m not completely crazy – I’m doing the aquabike (since I don’t really run), but still: 1.2-mile swim + 56-mile bike is pretty ambitious for me! If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you may recall that I run hot and cold about racing. Usually cold, unless it’s a swim-only event.
So how did this crazy lapse in judgement occur? COMPUTRAINER! Evil. Painful. And that glorious feeling of being capable of doing anything when the session was over. That feeling apparently lasted until I got home and whipped out my credit card to register. That was in mid-December. The race has been on my mind ever since. Now it’s a month away. Yikes! Am I ready? We’ll see!
So what else is new? In addition to the tried and true swim/bike/(hobble)run, I’m trying to do more regular weight-training. It’s not as bad as I feared! I had a few sessions with a personal trainer (LOVE my trainer!), and I take some circuit-training type gym classes. It’s really helpful having someone tell me what to do.
Swim: My usual pool routine, but now that it’s (finally) getting warmer, I’ll be wriggling into my wetsuit (and 2 caps, and booties – it’s not THAT warm yet) and heading out to Walden Pond and Mystic Lake for some OWS.
Bike: Ramping up mileage so the 56-mile Patriot course won’t completely destroy me (it WILL destroy me, but I’ll pretend it won’t for the sake of saving face). I’m riding with my friends again! It’s wonderful to be outside rather than stuck in spin class. Computrainer is a whole ‘nother beast from spin. I went to quite a few computrainer classes at Grace Bicycles over the winter, and I’m pretty sure my masochism has paid off in at least a little extra speed. That’s the hope, anyway.
Read: I read everything by Anita Shreve and Jodi Picoult, and lucky me, they both came out with new books recently. The Stars are Fire, by Anita Shreve, and Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult. Both are really good. I’m not going to give anything away. Get them. Read them. I also read a lot of crap, which I definitely won’t recommend.
Happy Spring! Happy Training!
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I get kind of lost when I go to the gym on my own. So rather than suffer the embarrassment of gymnesia, I attend group exercise classes. They can be hard, fun, and/or goofy, but I (almost) always get something out of the experience.
I go to classes through Harvard Recreation – minimal cost, go to any class anytime, and pick from a range of offerings. I make it to Indoor Cycling and Interval Challenge classes pretty regularly through the winter, so that’s nothing new. I tried IndoRow (weird), and CardioKicks (one time it was fun, the next time a bust – instructor-related). I’ve also tried total body conditioning and yoga, and I keep telling myself I’ll try a Step class one of these years – I’m not very coordinated, so that could be a problem. Left? Oh THAT left! Sorry!
Every semester, Harvard Rec. offers specialty classes for a little extra money. So, with the encouragement of my husband (who is probably just curious to see how crazy I am) I signed up for TRX sessions. 4 sessions in May – 1xwk for 30 minutes. It will either kill me or make me stronger. I’m hoping for the latter. I’m a little worried about injuring myself, but I’m also really intrigued by TRX, so we’ll see what happens. I just hope it doesn’t adversely affect my swimming.
Have you tried TRX? Should I be scared?
I guess I’m supposed to do some cross-training – it has been suggested more than once. Actually I think I do a LOT of cross-training – the whole I’m-sort-of-a-triathlete thing – but what I mean is, I guess I should be doing more specific weight-training. I don’t mind the idea of it. I can see how it might be helpful to my performance and fitness. But as I commented to Waterblogged, I suffer from gymnesia when I walk into the gym alone. Even when I write circuits down, I manage to “forget” what I intended to do. Self-sabotage? Perhaps. Self-consciousness? Definitely. I go to gym classes at Harvard. There’s an Interval Challenge class I like: HIGH-intensity simple heart pumping cardio drills combined with muscle conditioning exercises to give you a total body workout. Be prepared to sweat! And I’ve been known to attend Total Body Conditioning: The focus of this class is to strengthen all muscle groups using hand weights, your own body weight, and much more! So it’s not like I don’t have a clue. Except when I walk into the gym. Alone. And I don’t have a clue.
In the spirit of trying new things – or old things that I haven’t done in a long time – and working on expanding my exercise boundaries, I’m going to make a concerted effort at… jumping rope. As a kid I used to spend afternoons jumping rope in my driveway. Imagine my surprise when I tried to jump rope the other day and could barely manage. Of course I blamed the jumprope. Well, it WAS a sucky rope: plastic, too light, too long. Did I mention I’m good at excuses? Stomping my feet, complaining, I cried to my husband. I wanted a REAL rope. He made me one. Shit. I mean OH BOY! It’s real rope. It’s just the right heft. I can adjust the length by wrapping the ends around my hands. It’s just like I remember from childhood!
First real attempt. After swimming 2500 yds, I went next door to one of the gyms that isn’t very busy (maybe 3 people there!) and did my best to hide in a corner. Got my supplies: my rope, some weights, a ball, a step. My idea was to just do a few rounds: alternating jumping rope with triceps, biceps, planks, core stuff. Takeaway – probably best to be a little more systematic about the whole thing and not just wing it! And doing all this after swimming? I was a little tired. I’m not sure I would have gone swimming afterward, though. What order do people do this stuff in? Swim first and then I’m tired, but probably still getting some benefit. Swim after and I’d be tired and probably end up with a lousy swim and leg cramps. A work in progress. I topped it off with a spin class after work. I’m trying for that full-body thrashing!