Tag Archives: exercising

I was Working (out) Part Time in a Five-and-Dime

For the last two years, my local YMCA has had a month-long indoor Ironman competition.  You have a month to do an Ironman, but the faster you finish, the better the prize you can choose.

Last year, I did it in 8 days.  I got a purple fleece that says YMCA on it.

My goal this year was to finish it in the second week again and get a green track jacket or fleece.  I wanted to see how many coats I could have that say YMCA on them.  (I actually have one fleece and two shirts from them.  By 2015 I should be have a full week’s worth.)

I road 112 miles in 3 days.  I swam 2 miles in 2 days.  And then I got sick.  And as I was walking 2 miles while blowing my nose and coughing, I realized I didn’t really need another fleece and that what I really needed was to lie down and take a nap.  So I did.  And the second week passed by along with my choice of an incredibly fashionable YMCA fleece.

I finished in three weeks so now I’ll just end up with a hoodie that says YMCA.  I’m unsure if I’ll wear that hoodie with pride or if I’ll be bitter when I look at it and think, “If only I’d gotten the flu shot.”  Hard to tell.

I think, instead, I’m going to turn it into a different goal.  I’m gonna see how much purple YMCA clothing I can collect and whenever I wear it, I’m gonna dedicate my workout to Prince.

I'm taking Rasberry Beret Donations

I’m taking Rasberry Beret Donations

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VEGAS BABY!!!!

THE RUN

I have to put Vegas into 2 parts.  Part 2 will be the fun part of Vegas.

Part 1 is the run.

I went to Vegas to run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  Last week I posted how scared I was because 4 weeks ago, I’d twisted my ankle; last week I pinched a nerve; and the day before I left, my lower back was killing me.  I was not happy that I’d spent 2 months training and I might have to walk the whole thing.

Luckily, my back and ankle felt great Sunday.  My friend Jen joined me and we headed to the start.

My running buddies.  I know all their names.

My running buddies. I know all their names.

There were 37,000 participants.  You were supposed to line up with your carrel which is based on your estimated running time.  Each group left every 2 minutes.  For Jen and me to get to the right place, we would’ve had to walk half a mile and then we it would be more than a half marathon.  We didn’t want to walk more than 13.1 miles.  So we stayed where we were and decided we’d wait for our group to come to us.  But then this nice woman from Chicago told us to just join her in group 16 because no one really cared, so we did.

I knew if I stopped to take a photo, I was done.

I knew if I stopped to take a photo, I was done.

We ran at night.  You run down the Strip, into a really dark neighborhood (on one street a small bus was just idling which not only created exhaust you had to run through, but also created uneasiness; and on another street I ran through cigar smoke.  I didn’t like this little neighborhood.) and then back down the Strip to end at the Mirage.

The farthest I’d run without walking was 6 miles.  The farthest I’d trained walking and running was 10 miles.  I decided to just see what would happen.  The first 10.5 miles weren’t that bad.  I really felt ok and I kept my pace the whole time.  At mile 11 I wanted to die, but I’d made it back to the strip and I told myself just to make it to the Stratosphere.  Then I made it to Circus Circus.  Then I made it to Treasure Island.  Then I made it to the second stoplight.  Then I made it to the finish line.  I couldn’t believe it!  I’d run the whole thing.

I’d booked a room at the Mirage because it said it was the finish line but it really wasn’t.  Because after you cross the line, you pick up your medal.  Then you walk through a water station.  Then they give you a metallic blanket because there was a chill and you’re dripping sweat.  Then you walk past the Gatorade.  Then the finisher pictures. Then the chocolate milk.  Then the power bars.  Then the bagels.  Then apples.  Then pretzels.  Then the beer.  Then you had to wait for the light.  Then I had to double back and pass all of this again outside the barricades to get to my hotel.  A lot of people went out later that night.  Jen and I went to bed.

We’d both just done something we never thought we’d do in our lives and really don’t completely understand why we decided to do it in the first place.  But I’ve got to say it was the best way to do a half marathon.  I needed the 37,000 people because someone was always running and someone was always walking so you felt pushed but faster than someone.  There were bands and music every mile and there were tons of water stations.  And there were the lights of the Strip.  It was a great night.

And now I can say I ran a half marathon.

WE DID IT

WE DID IT

Jogging Partners

Jogging is getting easier.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

While in Utah, I mentioned to my 20-something niece I needed to go jogging and she said she would like to go along the Provo River Trail and I should go with her so we could drop a car off at the bottom and only have to jog one way. I’m all about only jogging one way.

So I put on jogging shorts and a jogging shirt and a compression sleeve because this is Provo after all and fashion counts. I even had my cool triathlon sunglasses on and my Ipod nano with the headphones that are sweat and water proof except the wires are coming out of the protective sleeve so they might not be anything proof and one day electrocute me because I sweat like no other.

And then we went jogging together.

By jogging together, I mean that we were on the same path, except for that parking lot I got lost in, until my niece finished 20 minutes ahead of me and then I was jogging by myself while she walked to her car and had a nice cool drink of ice water.

It was pretty. And it was the farthest I’ve ever gone. But I posted it on Facebook and now my-slightly-older-but-much-more-in-shape cousin who runs-all-the-time said she’d like to run it with me.

I’m going to have to buy a cuter jogging outfit.

NOT Provo worthy

NOT Provo worthy

Cross Chaining

Follow me on a journey where I take a very small lesson in life and twist it to where it applies to life principles found everywhere in the universe.

I recently took my bike in to be fixed because I was pretty certain my husband had messed with it.  I showed the bike store owner (I believe it adds to the story if you know he is about my age, very buff, and very, very knowledgeable about bikes and all things bike related.  Included padded shorts.)  I showed him what was wrong.  He looked at me and told me, “It’s time for some tough love.”  And then he told me I was cross chaining.

(You should google what this is because I’m about to destroy the definition.)

If your chain is on the front large wheel then it should be on the back small wheels.  If your chain is on the front small wheel then it should be on the back large wheel.  If your chain is on the front small wheel and the back small wheels then it is on an angle, or ‘crossing.’  So you shouldn’t ride your bike in every possible gear or you will cross chain and bring your bike into the bike shop thinking it’s broken when you really just don’t know how to ride a bike that has more than 3 gears or wasn’t purchased from JCPenney’s in 1988.

It’s tough love to be told something so basic and yet not exactly obvious knowledge.  If I shouldn’t do something, my bike shouldn’t allow me to do it.  That makes sense to me.  I need my margin for error shrunk to the smallest possible gap.  So that I don’t fall into that gap.

And here is where I enlarge this story to create a metaphor that only works if you read it while squinting.  Learning any basic lesson that you think you should just know is embarrassing.  But we gotta do it.  Because no matter how much we wish we could, we just can’t cross chain through life.

(Ok.  It’s at the very end it kind of comes a part.)

Mine is the one with a first aid kit.

Mine is the one with a first aid kit.

 

The Triathlon that Almost Wasn’t

I finished my second triathlon sprint.  I finished 20 minutes faster than I did last year, but it should’ve been 30 minutes.  After I’d swam 1000 yards, biked 12 miles and ran 1 mile, I got a migraine.
I started with denial.  I figured the aura in my eyes was from the brisk swimming pool water.  (The boiler had broken the night before and the water was only 75 degrees.  You usually swim in 78 degrees.  3 can be a very large number.)
Then I decided maybe my shoes were too tight and I loosened my shoe laces.
Then I started counting my breaths, thinking it would ease any stress in my head if I breathed in 4 counts and breathed out 5.
Then my eyesight really went crazy and I got slightly lost on the the run.  Then I found the path again and had to walk, while concentrating on florescent red markers.
As I walked across the finish line, I completely lost it and broke down as a friend led me to my car.
Now some would read this and think how strong I was to continue, although I didn’t have much of a choice because I was kind of in the middle of nowhere without much sight so the only way to get to Kevin was to follow the path.
But I don’t feel strong.

All I’m focusing on, for some odd reason, is how bummed I was I couldn’t celebrate all I’d accomplished.  I had really been looking forward to that burger and ice cream.  I had the flavor picked out and I was going to eat fries.  All without guilt.
There were tons of people there I knew.  It was going to be awesome.  I’m pretty sure someone would’ve lit fireworks.
Instead, I came home and took meds and closed the blinds and climbed into bed.  I stayed there for the next 24 hours.  I tried getting up Sunday and ended up back in bed.  My husband marveled at how much I slept.
So there ya have it.  I followed my own training advice: I kept going until they told me to stop.  And then I fell down.
LUCKILY, I’m the type to buy myself a reward for almost anything of significance I do and so I already had these babies:

The perfect reward!

The perfect reward!

I’m trying very hard to see what I accomplished and wear my bacon and egg earrings with pride and I honestly do.  But for some reason, without the celebration, it just doesn’t feel complete.  Sometimes things just need an end and this one didn’t have one and I have to learn to be OK with it.

(This does NOT mean I feel the need to do it again.)

Triathlon Advice

I’m about to do my 2nd spring triathlon.  Due to my experience, I was given the status of triathlon master by parenting experts who don’t actually have children.

There is a lot of advice out there:
-focus on your hamstrings on your bike to save your quads for running.
-only drink while on your bike and only at the beginning for bathroom and cramping reasons.
-eat what you would normally eat so you don’t get sick
-eat carbs the night before
-eat carbs the morning of
-eat carbs so that you can be happy
-don’t eat carbs

I thought I would add my own two cents.  This is what I do for a race:
I keep going until the finish.

I hope you find this helpful.  If you do not, talk to the parenting experts.

My other tip: wear matching shoes.

My other tip: wear matching shoes.

Hip to Be Square

I’m working with a personal trainer because parts of me just are not right.
(Leaving that open is my gift to you today.)
My right hip turns in so I always lead with it.  When I’m 85 and 4 months this may actually cause me problems, but right now I don’t notice it.  Unless I’m running.  And swimming.
When I’m running, after a while, my feet or calves or hips start to hurt and not in the “I’m burning through the pain” hurt.  It’s more of a “I think I’m 85 and 4 months right now” kind of pain.  And it sometimes stays after I stop running.
When I swim, I can’t tell too much until I do drills.  When I’m kicking on my right side, I can’t swim straight.  I automatically angle to the left.  It’s very embarrassing.
So I am working on strengthening my left hip so that it doesn’t let my right hip take over and usurp it’s power.  I do little movements that kill.  And it isn’t the “I’m powerlifting so I will yell making everyone in the gym look at my muscles” pain.  It’s fatigued muscle pain.  My left side is complaining because it enjoyed taking a back seat.  I can’t really blame it.  Sitting back and watching the action can be a lot of fun.
But unfortunately those times are over.
So I sidestep across the room with a band tied around my ankles.  This isn’t a difficult exercise; until my trainer makes me do it correctly.  Then I start to sweat and my body screams.
I’m hoping it makes me a better Mom.

(So far, though, it’s just made me reference really old Huey Lewis songs.)

It's really hard to believe anything could be wrong here.

It’s really hard to believe anything could be wrong here.