Friday, November 28, 2008
Since lots of you ran or raced yesterday, I have to confess: I did none of those things. Too busy, tired fron Wednesday's workouts and working, as well as cooking, cleaning, etc. So I slacked off, sort of, on Thanksgiving. Had I had my bike shoes at home, instead of leaving them at the gym, I would have at least ridden the trainer and gone for a short run (easy to say that now!). However, they were at the gym and that totally changed my game plan for working out. It didn't happen. Instead, today, Jan and I did a practice indoor triathlon. On December 7, we have an actual indoor tri we will be doing.
Today, however, was a practice run. We both arrived early at the gym and got in a half mile swim (my time: 20:31). Next, we did a 55 min. spin class, with 4 intervals of 7 minutes at anaerobic threshhold pace (for me that was at 95% effort). After that, a 5k on the treadmill. I did pretty well on the run part until about 20 minutes into the run and then just had to pretty much hang on until the end. Run time was 34:40 for a 5k, slower than in the past, but I'm just getting acclimated to the treadmill again, not having run on it since April. Total time: 1:50.11. Just a guesstimate on the distance in the spin was probably 14.5 miles. I put in a good effort so I was pleased. A good way to burn off calories! Sunday, December 7 is the first indoor tri of the season.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 24, 2008
($49.95 plus shipping and handling from Edmund Scientific, 60 Pearce Ave., Tonawanda, N.Y. 14150, (800) 728-6999; http://www.scientificsonline.com/.
2. Razorba "War Hammer" back razor.
($69.95 plus shipping and handling from Razorba/Swamiware LLC, 1657 Abigail Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, (888) 755-6386; http://www.razorba.com/.
Here's a fun game that will provide hours of entertainment for the whole family, provided nobody in the family has an IQ higher than 40. "Gassy Gus" is a board game that comes with a little man named ... get ready ... "Gassy Gus." Players use "food cards" to force their opponents to pump Gassy Gus' head up and down. Each pump inflates his belly a little more, until finally Gassy Gus "blasts gas." Oh no! In other words, it is exactly like chess, except that instead of strategy there is flatulence. So in that sense it is actually more like the United States Congress.
($34.99 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com, (866) 216-1072.
Where do golfers go to the bathroom? Open fairways? No trees? You'll want the UroClub in your golf bag. For years, we assumed they used those little holes that you see scattered around golf courses for relief. But it turns out the holes have another purpose; namely, the golfer is supposed to hit the ball into them, although this rarely happens. There are very few places on a golf course to go to the bathroom. This can be a real problem, because many golfers follow a strict hydration regimen under which they may consume as many as eight beers while they're still in the parking lot. This can lead to a lot of pressure out on the course. Well, golfers can rest easy now, thanks to the amazing UroClub. This is a fake golf club with a hollow shaft and an opening at the top. It comes with a towel that drapes over it, so the golfer appears to be toweling off the club when he is actually relieving himself into it. This could be used in place of the little porta potty thing Marci suggested a while ago, to not be so obvious on the links.
($24.95 plus shipping and handling from Matco, (866) 999-4876, http://www.uroclub.org/.
5. Wearable sleeping bag.
This is my personal favorite. Doze off anywhere, anytime with the wearable sleeping bag.
It is a medical fact that most people do not get enough sleep. Why? Work, that's why. Incredibly, even in the 21st century, very few employers outside of the brothel industry and certain government agencies provide beds for their employees, which means workers must spend the day sitting in chairs, awake, using up precious energy reserves they need for evenings and weekends. What can we do about this? The answer is so simple it's hard to believe it took so long for somebody to figure it out: We can wear sleeping bags to work. Specifically we can wear the Lippi Selk wearable sleeping bag, which combines the comfort of a regular sleeping bag with a level of chic fashion elegance normally associated only with the Michelin Man. When you put this baby on, your bed is any place you happen to be ... on a conference table, under your cubicle ... even, for catnaps in the elevator. And just think how great it would be to wear a sleeping bag on a plane! Especially if you're a pilot.
( $132) plus shipping and handling from Barmans Ltd., Saxon Way Industrial Estate, Melbourn, Hertfordshire, SG8 6DN, United Kingdom, 0870-428-0958, http://www.drinkstuff.com/.
($59.99 plus shipping and handling from Target, (800) 591-3869, http://www.target.com/.
If you have ever competed in the swimsuit-competition portion of a beauty pageant, or maybe just wanted to wear your swimsuit in a triathlon, then you know how annoying it can be when a sector of your swimsuit disappears into a bodily crevice, which is a mandatory 10-point deduction or DQ. For years, the only way to prevent this problem was a painful procedure involving staples. But now there is a better way: Firm Grip spray-on buttocks adhesive. This is the same professional-grade buttocks adhesive used by all of your top beauty-pageant contestants, pro triathlete women, and as many as 65 percent of the players in the National Football League. (Trust us: You do NOT want to know.)
($17.99 plus shipping and handling from The Queen's Choice, 2059 Listravia Ave., Morgantown, WV 26505, (304) 296-3294, http://www.queenschoice.com/.
Hope this helps cut down on your shopping this year so you have more time for other things like running or exercising!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Opening your chest--something you can even do at your desk.
A yoga pose--the pretzel? This really takes some flexibility,
but if you keep working at it, it gets easier.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I said I was intending to do some more quality workouts, something that would help put the oomph back in my running, and one way to get that heart pumping and jumping, without circling a track all the time or doing speed drills on a treadmill, is to do hill repeats. So that's what was on the agenda today.
This hill, one of quite a few all going the same direction near downtown, from bottom to top is about 1/4 mile long, but I'm no way good enough shape to be doing repeats on something like that. When I trained for my first marathon (eons ago), my girls and I used this hill for our repeats, doing the full 1/4 mile, up to 9 times, starting at 90 seconds and decreasing by the 6th repeat. Fond and not so fond memories of those days. But the result of that hard work paid off.
Today? I started about 1/4 of the way up from the 1/4 mile mark, so I'm not really sure how long it was, but it was definitely long enough. I will take a picture of that hill one day when it is light out.
And yes, while I don't mind running in the dark in the mornings, doing something this crazy was definitely better done under cover of darkness. I was afraid if someone could actually see the pain in my face, they might call the paramedics.
The goal was to do 4 repeats, and I'm happy to say I was able to accomplish that. The first one was definitely the hardest. Once I got that over with, the next ones seemed easier, although I can't say I wasn't happy to be done. And don't even bother asking my time. I was not doing this for time, only to get it done. On the second repeat, two high school boys were dragging themselves up the hill, and I was glad they were at the top before I had to start my third. Like I said, I don't want someone knowing how crazy I am.
On the first hill, I couldn't help but notice a familiar silver scion parked along the street. Chia, is that yours?? I'm not stalking you girl, but I couldn't help but wonder. And if you did look out your window in the 7 o'clock hour and saw some crazy woman in a glowing yellow jacket going up and down your hill, now you know it was me.
This wasn't the hardest thing I've done by any means, and doing the hills sure made the time pass quickly. Before I knew it, I had been out there for 30 minutes, long enough on a very cold morning. I now realize 2 pair of tights will be necessary on these mornings.
And the best part about this workout? The loooong downhill going back to the gym. Like I said, the hard part makes the easy stuff really seem easy.
After my stretching routine, which I'm paying more attention to again, it was time to get up close and personal with the old tennis ball for some self-inflicted massage torture. That could be an oxymoron there. If you've never tried the tennis ball for self massage, let me tell you that while it can be quite painful, it does the trick. A tennis ball is once again standard equipment in my gym bag. And fortunately, we missed out on all this fun.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Finally the back/hip issue is beginning to resolve. Its always hard being patient with an injury because we want it to be fixed NOW and when it isn't, it starts getting us frantic. I'm learning though to be patient with these things, and always learning how to do preventative work to avoid the same thing happening again.
Work has been particularly busy all month, and after spending all day on a computer, I rarely get in front of mine at home, so I've not been the best at blogging lately.
Also, with this injury thing, I've been doing different workouts--spinning 2 or 3 days a week, yoga/pilates twice a week, elliptical once or twice a week, strength training twice a week, and last week added running back in 3 days a week. Sounds like a lot, but the main thing I'm doing different is increasing the intensity of each workout, including running. More quality, less quantity. And I think that will be my theme for next year.
One thing I've missed by running fast is the hard workouts that then make everything else seem easy. Like once you've run a marathon, everything else seems easier. Or an Ironman (although I'm not an authority there.) I've resigned myself to realize that unless I was at least 10 years younger, didn't have to work, and had a dedicated coach, I will never run at the levels I used to. I miss it psychologically but also miss it physically.
The quality I am putting into my workouts now is to try to get at least half the workout in the 80% effort zone. My goals are twofold: one to get back some of the speed I have seriously lacked this past year and two to help trim the fat. High intensity workouts are fat burners, its as simple as that. Running or biking at 60-65%, as I've mostly been doing, doesn't do a whole lot for me. Not only does it not increase my endurance, but it does not help maintain a good body fat ratio. The body gets efficient at NOT burning fat when its not called upon to do so.
I think I can do better than I've been doing, I just have to put my mind to it. I think overall my fitness has improved over the last two years, but I have lost a lot of speed, and while my weight mainly is maintained, not doing much running this month I've seen those pesky few pounds creep back on and I want to nip that before it gets out of hand.
Today was another track day. Not just for speed, but mentally it helps me with workouts. I'm just rebuilding my distance, but now I want to start throwing in some faster running, so its easier for me to do that there. Four miles was the goal today: walk 1 lap, run 1 lap easy, 2 hard, 1 easy, repeat. It was cold, only 32 degrees, and snowing the whole time, more like white rain, because it was the big, wet sloppy flakes. But thankfully very little wind. And like treadmill running, its a great equalizer when you are running with someone else: you can each go your own pace and not lose each other in the process.
And I almost pulled off the entire workout as planned. On the third mile, I really had to work with my mind to do the fast laps, and had to mix it up some: one fast, one easy, one fast, one easy, walk one. But I got it done and when I finished, the snow stopped. That was weird. The whole time I circled the track, I was getting hypnotized by the big white flakes falling on the black surface. And the end result was I felt relaxed and good. Putting some hard effort into my running makes me feel that way. And that's what I've been missing.
Goals for next year then are to try to get a little faster (within reason) but not obsess over it either. It will not be a disappointment if I don't make a certain goal pace, only a triumph if I do. Another goal will be to do only one event a month, so I can focus on quality. I love going to races, but going frequently I do not train properly, relying on past performances to get me through it, which doesn't always work. Also hoping for a few blogger meetups as well. No events have been decided on yet. I'm still deciding...
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
By Nikemom. The rules of this post: The rules are to list 6 things I value and 6 things I don't and then pass this award on to 6 people!
What I Value:
- Freedom. As I get older and see all the things going on around the world, I can't help but feel extremely fortunate for being born American.
- My family. Again, as I get older and my kids have gotten older, it has been easier to see each of them as individuals with their unique personalities.
- My friends. While I am not one to need a huge group of people around me or feel the need to spread myself thin, I value the friendships that have remained over the years, and value the new-found friendships I am making through blogland.
- Travel. I am finding out how much I love to travel--almost anywhere--but especially when it involves meeting up with fellow bloggers or doing races.
- My athletic abilities, as meager as they are. Again, I realize how fortunate I am to have taken up running, biking, swimming, and all that goes with it, good and bad. I believe it has made me the person I am today.
- Good health. At least for now, I have no medical issues.
What I don't value: (I take this to mean things I dislike)
- Insincerity. I am who I am. I do not pretend to be anyone else. Yet I can't help but notice how many people I have come across who are not who they portray themselves to be. (none of you BTW)
- Losing a lot of money in this stock market mess. 'Nuff said.
- Family members who did not treat my parents well when they were alive.
- Having to keep my car maintained. (I just want to get it in and drive.)
- Paying high prices for gas and other necessities, with no end in sight to this.
- Companies that discontinue making items I have been using for years with no substitute.
So there you have it. Now I have to tag 6 other people:
Don't forget to vote tomorrow!