Friday, September 30, 2011
1. Is it possible to fit your fist up your butt, all the way to your elbow (later confirmed to be possible by my sister in law. Well, I took her word for it).
2. Do balls get saggier after guys lose a bunch of weight (he says no).
3. If you built up your grip strength, could you squeeze a dick so hard it was permanently broken?
4. How Bosu balls and exercise balls were all the rage a few years ago, and now they're largely ignored.
(I don't know why I look terrified/about to kill someone)
Lots of stretching
10 kb swings
5 goblet squats
10 sec stiff arm hang
30 second rest
repeat as many times as possible for 10 minutes
Oh man, I hate those hangs. They make me want to vomit.
And then my back was twinging a little bit, so he made me do the single most ridiculous thing I've ever had to do in the gym. It involved standing a foot away from the mirror, facing away, and putting my arms down under my crotch, leaning over, and trying to touch the mirror. I looked like a retarded stripper who had to pee. People kept actually stopping and commenting on how ridiculous I looked. It was that bad.
12 hamstring curls
20 multi planer lunges (we only did this twice. My knee started twinging the second round, so we skipped it the third round)
12 Lat pulldowns
12 (per arm) weird old machine row thing
10 cobras w/2.5lb weights
60 sec plank
So, with my back twinging, I'm going to start doing my back stretches again.
My knee probably just misses running, so I'm going to cut rest week short and head out for a slow run today to see if that drops everything back into place. I've been itching to run anyway.
I have a 10k mud run on Saturday, and a 10k regular run on Sunday. One of those days I have to turn in an 11 mile run. I'll probably save it for Sunday, and break it up. 10k + 5 miles. And thus will begin marathon training.
Are you doing anything fun this weekend?
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
How I did on my tri.
Gripping kettlebells like you're giving hand jobs.
When I first showed up, he asked if I had been eating lately. Apparently, my arms look too skinny. We narrowed it down to, likely, dehydration. That seems likely, considering how humid Arizona was, and how little water I was drinking there.
10 chest press (2 30lb dumbbells)
15 squat and rows
10 skull crushers
15 tricep extensions
60 second jog
60 second exercise bike
5 (per side) squat to straight press (kettlebell)
10 ball slams
60 seconds jog
60 seconds exercise bike
It's distinctly possible I pulled an SUAR and shat myself.
This week is a rest week, minus quality time with my trainer, so today I get to go home and watch tv until my eyes explode and tool around online and eat myself silly. Yay.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Your opinion has never mattered more.
We’ve collected 18 awesome runners from all over Southern California and created two Ragnar Relay teams – an Ultra team and a 12-man team – both presently nameless.
18 Jane Does.
Y’all accepted our challenge and came up with some AWESOME suggestions – nearly 200 of them, actually. We picked our top 10 favorites, and are leaving the ultimate decision back in your hands.
Choose wisely – remember this will be plastered all over our shirts, blog-land, and sharpie’d on the face of the first person to fall asleep in my van (I am a 12 year-old slumber partier at heart).
Not to mention what they’ll call out when we cross the finish line on Coronado Island – I don’t anticipate a lot of other teams being there yet to hear it, but the spectators will ;)
Vote as many times, for as many names, as your little heart desires. Voting will close (and our teams will FINALLY be named) Friday (9/30) at midnight PST.
Oh, and in case you forgot – there is a ridiculously awesome prize pack for the brains behind the winning names – Mission Skincare, iTunes gift card, Gu, Competitor Magazine, hand-knit infinity scarf, SkinnyRunner shirt, etc etc ad nauseum. So much cool shit, that’s what you’ll win.
GO VOTE HERE!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Now, I didn't expect to fall asleep right away. I gave myself two hours to read myself to sleep.
9pm was lights out. Race nerves paired with sleeping 11 hours the previous night meant I didn't fall asleep right away. I made it a point not to look at the clock, but I know it took me a very long time to fall asleep.
My alarm went off at 5am.
I think, no matter how much sleep I get, 5am still feels six degrees of awful.
The previous night I had laid out everything I needed.
It took minimal brain power to throw my tri suit on, double check that I had everything I needed, and I was out the door. My hotel was 0.5 miles from the race site, so it was a short walk.
I had set up my bike the day before.
And my bike was in a candy location. The yellow arrows point to my bike and the bike in and out. SCORE.
By 5:45am I was set up and ready to go. Well, mostly. My stomach does not like racing or getting up early, so I was trying to calm down and see if I could choke any food down (short answer: no).
At 6am my tri coach arrived. He knew at least a dozen other people racing. Apparently the tri community all knows each other out here in the desert. We went over some last minute pointers.
And then it was time to line up, put on my hot pink swim cap (my wave color), and get in the water.
The Swim: 750m, 24:23.6 (there are rumors this ran up to 100m long)
The swim started a bit out into the lake, which means our wave had to tread water for a few minutes before starting. Treading water in a cluster of people is hard. And, to be honest, it was kind of tiring. Which was a little scary. The race hadn't even started yet and I was exhausted.
But, it gave me something to do, which meant my nerves melted away.
And then the gun went off, and we were racing.
I did not get kicked in the face. It as slow going to first few seconds, trying to carve out my own space.
And then, I swam.
And the swim got real hard, real fast.
And I don't know why. I had swam that distance before, comfortably. But it was difficult. The whole time. I knew I was going slower than I should have been going. But, I couldn't go faster. I was swimming as hard as I knew how. I don't know what else to say.
I came out of the water in a foul mood. I knew I was in the back of my wave. I was tired. I wasn't happy with myself. But, there was nothing I could do but bust my ass. I tore my googles and swim cap off as I ran to my bike.
By the time I got to the bike all I had to do was put on my socks, shoes, helmet, and race belt. I wear my shoes loose enough that I never tie or untie them, which helped. And I'm pretty good at putting socks on wet feet. So, it went pretty quickly.
Bike: 12.32 Miles, 0:41:49.3
I came out of T1 33/42 in my age group, and came out of T2 18/42 in my age group, which is a good indication of how I did on the bike.
I wasn't keeping an exact count, but I'd say I passed about twice as many people as passed me. By the end of the bike course I was being passed by people doing the olympic distance, which was humbling and AWESOME. Those guys were fucking rad, man.
The bike had lots of turns and gentle hills. Ooops, hills. I didn't really train for those. But, I knew how to work my gears. When I wasn't getting passed by the elite oly guys, I was getting passed going up the gentle hills, which tells me what I need to work on if there's a next time.
The bike ride was hard, but felt good. Admittedly, for most of the bike ride I just wanted the race to be over. I was tired. Racing is hard. But, the bike ride was good. Passing people felt good. Passing guys felt awesome, because I knew they started the swim at least three minutes before me, so it made me feel good about how I was doing on the bike.
But, most of my good bike feelings are in retrospect. It took at least half the bike ride for me to catch my breath, which I promptly lost again by the end of the bike ride. I guess that's a good sign for how hard I was pushing myself.
T2: 0:51.0 (I know, right??)
All I had to do was put my bike on the rack, take off my helmet, and run. Easy peasy.
As I was running out of the transition zone I pinned my bangs back and twisted my race belt so my number was pointing forward.
Run: 5k, 0:26:57.2
As I told my coach at the finish line, I can't recall my legs ever being that tired. Even in the final hours of my ultra, I'm not sure my legs were that tired. Of course, I've blocked out all previous race pain, so it's probably not a true observation, but man, they felt TIRED. And heavy.
I felt like I was a few minutes away from having to walk. And that feeling persisted for most of the run.
But, I kept passing people. I had no idea how. I felt so SLOW. But I kept passing people.
Two people passed me. One, a woman, about halfway through, who was going STRONG. The other, a guy, with half a mile left to go. He didn't get too far ahead of me, but I wasn't trying to pass him again.
The rest of the time, I was passing people. It wasn't on purpose. I wasn't picking people and passing them, one by one, like I normally try to do. I was just focused on continuing to move. And, apparently, I was moving faster than they were.
It was kind of hilarious to compare to a normal 5k. Everyone was moving in slow motion.
At one point it started raining on us, and everyone in earshot was verbally grateful.
I wish I had a mile by mile breakdown of the run. I guess this is why people have those fancy watches. At some point, halfway through, I thought about my brother Sky. When we run together, he always talks about how a longer stride takes the same amount of effort as tired shuffling, and gets you to the end of the run faster.
So, I switched, from the heavy leg shuffle to the heavy leg shuffle with a longer stride.
Looking at my time, I guess it worked.
The final stretch was all down hill, which was perfect.
As soon as I knew how far I had left to go versus how much I had left in the tank, I picked up the pace mightily.
I was aware of the camera for this picture. I'm not sure why I chose to make retarded dinosaur arms, but it was on purpose, I assure you.
As soon as I could see the finish line, I sprinted. Finish strong. I tell my training friends this all the time. We are not elites. We ALWAYS have something left in the tank.
Final Time: 1:35:31.43, 15/42 in my age group
My goal time ("goal time") was 1:40, so this was pretty swell. The time I lost on my swim, I made up for on my run.
After I crossed the finish line I grabbed some water and some watermelon, exited the finisher's area, sat down, and ate. I was glad to be done, but mostly I was tired and hungry.
Then I moved back to the transition area, packed up my stuff, sat down for a while longer, and finally shuffled back to my hotel.
There are no victorious post race pictures. I had my camera, but my brain wasn't thinking "pictures." You guys, I didn't take a single picture of my butt all weekend. What's up with that? I assume the race photographer got a picture of me crossing the finish line. That will be nice.
I'm a little bit sore today. My neck and shoulders are sore from being too tense on the bike. I can feel some tightness in my calf.
My shins are a little scraped up from exiting the lake.
And I was too tired yesterday to properly scrub off the backs of my calves.
So, that's it. I finished a triathlon strong. I can check "tri" off my lifetime exercise goal list, I guess.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
My race story starts over two years ago, when I signed up for a reserve sprint triathlon on a whim.
I convinced my brother to sign up, too. I didn't want to do it alone, and I knew he was crazy enough to do it with me.
Key race details:
1. I had not swam laps ever. EVER. The swim was 3 lengths of a pool.
2. While I owned a bike, it was a beach cruiser. With no gears. And, as it turned out, a half flat back tire. The race had a nine mile bike ride. I had never ridden a bike for nine miles. Ever.
3. Sky ended up letting me ride his mountain bike. It had gears. I did not know how to use them.
Yes, this has always been my pose.
So, they didn't offer splits on their results, but, a 5k run, 9 mile bike ride, and 3 laps in a pool took me an hour and 30 minutes. HA HA HA.
The run was fine.
Sky did the whole ride on my stupid bike with a half flat back tire and a "special" helmet. He kept up with me for almost the whole leg.
The swim was hilarious. I frog swam the whole 3 laps. And, it was a reverse, and it was overcast, and Sky and I both forgot towels. We used the race shirts they gave us to dry off.
And thus ended my first triathlon. Zero training. Zero forethought. Hilarious, shitty results. Shocking, I know.
One tri under our belt, we set our sights higher: An open water tri! Regular order! My mom lives in Napa, so we chose a tri up there.
I actually went out and bought a better bike! At Target. Whatever. And, I trained a little bit. Once or twice a month.
The trip was wonderful. My best friends Marla and Andrew joined us for the tri, and our friend Anne joined us as a spectator. We had a great road trip adventure up, and a fun time wandering around Napa in the days before the tri.
The morning of the tri, it was raining. And cold. And every other person there was in a wetsuit.
I put on a brave face.
But in reality I was cold and absolutely miserable.
I figured once I got moving in the water, I would warm up. And then, it was time. I put my toes in the water, and started crying. It was so cold. So cold. I almost quit the race right there. But, I didn't. I slowed waded in. Crying. And swam. I had to warm up, right? No.
I never warmed up.
I came out of the water looking like this.
It was still raining. I made it to my bike rack. I got one shoe on. I could not stop shaking. EMTs pulled me from the transition area and the race. They were afraid I had hypothermia.
They kept me in the back of an ambulance, wrapped in blankets, until I stopped shivering.
But my race was over. It's my only DNF.
To be honest, it was a relief. I was so unbearably cold. It was awful. But, DNF didn't feel good, either.
Anxious to make up for that race, I began to seek out a race where wetsuits weren't even optional. No cold tris for me, ever again. I stand by this. Fuck that.
This led me to the Nathan Tempe Triathlon, in Arizona. Marla had family here, so we signed up for another racecation.
This time, we went big. Olympic distance! A mile swim! Whoa!
So we trained.
I think my longest bike ride was 20 miles.
I couldn't swim more than two laps in a row freestyle without switching to an easier stroke. I was running more, at least. Running was my first love, after all.
But, yes, I wasn't doing more than two workouts a week for the tri. And that would be on a good week. And there was no structure. And no pushing myself.
Again, the road trip and non-race activities were super fun.
(whoa, my back looks so much better now!)
The swim was awful. I was the second to last person out of the water. I had my own guy in a kayak following me for basically the last half of the race, continually asking me if I was okay. But the water was warm. There was no way I was giving up. FUCK THAT.
The bike was worse. I had, again, never biked that far in my life. I had never biked up a hill. The course was almost empty already. The temperature kept rising. Because I was doing the Oly, it meant I had to do two loops on the bike. Which was AWFUL, knowing as hard as it was, that I had to do each part a second time.
And then, the run. 10k. A billion degrees out. And, you guys, I had been out there so long that the water stations had all been abandoned. At this point there was, as far as I knew, one woman behind me. I was second to last.
Sky had finished at this point, so he came to find me. I was mostly walking. I was breaking out in goose bumps. I was miserable. Sky and I came up on a girl who was also walking. She was 17. Her brother had encouraged her to sign up, then ditched her. She looked about how I felt, so we stuck with her for almost the whole six miles. Her family eventually showed up to finish with her, so I took off, giving one last burst to try to "finish strong."
The finish line was abandoned, except for my friends. That felt really awful.
The time is only slightly off. I did terribly at every leg. I was ill prepared.
I basically curled up on the ground after I crossed the finish line.
Wait, no. Not basically. Actually.
And, I messed up my ankle to the point where I couldn't drive home the next day. And it hurt to step off curbs for months. And I wore an ankle brace for almost a year.
So, yeah. I swore I would never, ever do another triathlon, ever again.
That was two years ago.
What made me change my mind?
Well, after I finished the ultramarathon in March, I started thinking about what my lifetime fitness goals were. And, while I had completed two triathlons, I didn't feel comfortable checking "triathlon" off my list, because of how poorly I had done.
So, I decided it was time for a rematch. Done right this time. With an actual training plan.
So, yeah, ghosts of triathlons past.
Coming up, eventually, an actual race report from this morning. Exciting!
Months of training plans. Hours of driving.
Totally worth it.
I'm in a cafe right now, stealing their wifi and eating both breakfasts I ordered (which confused the face off the waiter).
My eyes might be bigger than my stomach, but I don't care. FOOD.
-I need to work on my swimming. I passed a handful of people the bike, and a shitton of people on the run. The swim? I passed zero people in my wave. So, swimming is my weakest part. I think I need some actual hands on swim training. If I do another tri again.
-The whole time I just wanted it to be over. It took me half the bike ride to catch my breath. I passed one guy on the bike, and he said to me "at least you're breathing hard as you pass me." Ha!
-The run felt impossible. I felt like my legs were turning into clay gollum legs. Speeding up felt impossible. But, everyone looked like they were running in slow motion. Only two people passed me on the run, and I passed dozens of people. That felt good.
-It rained for part of the run. "Rain has never fucking felt this good," I muttered to myself.
-Unless the finish line clock was way off, I beat my goal time. Well, "goal time." My coach gave me a "you'll probably finish around this time." number and I clung to it. I was worried, with how difficult everything felt, that I was going to have some awful time. I don't know. Lots of worries. All the time. So, that was nice.
The stretch down to the finish line:
I'm looking forward to seeing my splits, and the official pictures. I don't know when to expect them. Right now I'm focused on eating as much as humanly possibly, and then lying down for a few hours. It's not even 10am. DAMN.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
My first day in Arizona was spent avoid the heat, rearranging my hotel room so I could comfortably sit on my laptop, and watching a lot of tv.
I like to keep my living space neat and clean.
Last night I slept for 11 hours. It was beautiful and amazing.
I'm about to head out into the Arizona heat and humidity to check my bike in, pick up my race crap, and probably get majorly sunburnt. I guess I should put some sunscreen on.
My race nerves keep coming and going. One moment I'll feel perfect and excited, and the next my stomach is training for cirque du soleil.
This is how I feel about tomorrow:
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Tonight I have a 6+ hour solo road trip. It might be time to bust out my Firesign Theater cds. Anyone out there under the age of 60 who's heard of them?
I caught the first episode of The Biggest Loser. I like the new trainer with the weird name. Anna is pretty, but man. 4lbs at the first weigh in? That has to be a series worst. But a LOT. It's not just old people, because I've never seen that many people do that poorly. I really don't think Anna fully knows what she's doing. Being an excellent athlete doesn't make you a good trainer, in the same way that being fucking HOT doesn't make you good at sex. I've heard.
Anyway, I already hate people. Yay?
Also, maybe it's just being skinny my whole life, but I don't get the "I will never love someone as long as I am fat." I see fat people in love all the time! Maybe you will never love someone as long as you are so dissatisfied with yourself and how you look, sure, but that's different. And yes, losing weight will help that. But weight alone is not keeping you from being in love. Though, I have to assume that at a certain weight, it gets really really hard to have sex. But people on TBL aren't there yet. They save that shit for TLC specials.
Anyway, I don't know a single person's name (Except fucking BONNIE), and I almost hate everyone.
This bodes well. Though, I'm not sure I can bring myself to recap like I was last season. It might just turn into one long burn book. We'll see.
Speaking of burn books (not really), while hiking out from the lake on Sunday, I managed to drop the top of my favorite bathing suit. I've had it for years, and I can't find another one on ebay, so I guess it's time to move on. =( The bottoms were starting to threaten to fall off anyway, so I guess it's for the best.
Did you watch The Biggest Loser? Tell me what you think?
How many bathing suits do you own? I'm down to four, now. A bikini I've never worn, my super hero suit, a suit I lend to my mom, and a weird one piece with ties in the back that I never quite figured out how to wear properly.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Now that that's out of the way...
Yesterday my trainer babied me. He stretched me out, then dumped me on the treadmill for 37 minutes (it would have been forty, but he said "you can stop the treadmill when you get to 40," but I heard "you can stop the treadmill-" and pushed the "stop" button.
Then he showed me some grip exercises. [insert hand job joke here]
While I was on the treadmill, he ran himself through a kettlebell workout.
This is what it must be like to watch Bobby Flay cook himself breakfast (I love Bobby Flay, okay?). A master at work. It was neat to watch him do the things I struggle with, flawlessly, and with significantly more weight. Plus, you know, sweaty flexed muscles. It's a wonder I didn't fall off the treadmill.
We ended with three one minute planks, which he did along side me. It would good to see that he gets twitchy and figidy at the end of planks, too. I try to mentally recite monologues from plays I was in when I was in high school. It helps. Some.
Anyway, the treadmill got my sweat on (that, and lack of air circulation in the garage).
Maybe this is a more appropriate reaction.
My back was pretty soaked, too.
Today is a swim day.
Tomorrow I swim, then drive to Arizona. Holy moly you guys!!
This morning I spent a fair amount of time on my knees in our office parking lot, trying to pry a fuse out of my car's fuse box. It doesn't help that the internal fuse box is placed in the most awkward position ever. But I could not for the life of me pry that fucking fuse out.
And the internet is a bag of dicks, with it's "if you're too much of a giant wuss to get the fuse out yourself, you can use a screwdriver, you fucking pussy." I need to go to an auto parts store to get a replacement fuse anyway (all the back of fuses have been used). I need to get it fixed before AZ, since it's the fuse to my cigarette lighter, which charges my phone.
I guess I should start packing, too, eh? Since it's a billion degrees over there, it's cool if I wander around in a bikini and flip flops, right?
I did manage to stock up on sunscreen. We'll see if I actually use it.
Do you tinker on your vehicle at all, or leave that to someone else?
On long drives do you prefer the radio? CDs? Books on tape? Silence? What was your favorite car game as a kid?
19. Yesterday was a rest day, so I have nothing exercise-wise to report.
18. I did get my arm pits waxed.
17. But before I did, I had to wipe them down with a baby wipe, because I forgot to wear deodorant again.
16. I'm hairy and I smell. Thank god I tricked someone into marrying me, right?
15. I ate candy, cookies, and beef jerky for lunch yesterday.
14. But since I skipped coffee, my stomach managed it like a champ.
13. I'm slowly learning that drinking coffee makes my stomach fuck up.
12. Which sucks, because it's delicious.
11. Once it's fully established, I'll try integrating decaf. *sigh*
10. I leave for Arizona in THREE DAYS.
8. If I were gay I'd totally have a crush on Rachel Maddow.
7. I'm really nervous about my triathlon you guys. It's a new feeling with me, and I'm not sure what to do with it.
6. My fingernails are all the same length right now, and it is a pretty, reasonable length. This means that over the next 5 days, half of them will break off. Because that's how my fingers roll.
5. Fuck, I have to think of five more things?
4. I like salami.
3. I used to like dill pickles, but now I don't.
2. I don't like Pepsi.
1. Bob's your uncle.
BONUS! Sonja uploaded her pictures from when she came to LA:
Tell me something random.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
(speaking of, any Phoenix area people want to meet up for a meal?)
Today I had an open water swim.
The original plan was to head up to Solvang for a viking festival, and hit the lake by Santa Barbara on the way home. But, life doesn't always go according to plan.
Last night the folks across the street threw a party. I can only assume it was a party for deaf ravers, based on the music volume and selection. We got them to turn down the music around 1:30am, which put a cramp on our "get up at the crack of dawn and drive north plans." Good thing I discovered a kick ass looking swimming lake last weekend.
It wasn't as long as it could have been, but I did a handful of laps back and forth to get in 20 minutes. I only thought I was going to get eaten by swamp monsters a few times. And apparently majorly fogged up goggles are not good when you're in open water. Stroke, stroke, stroke JESUS FUCK WHAT DID I JUST TOUCH. Oh, lily pads. Okay then.
The water was cold, but nice. Refreshing is the polite way to put it, I think. My husband sat on the bank and played on his phone, yelling out time at 5 minute increments when I lifted my head up to sight.
On the way back to the car I saw deer!
It was a good change of plans. I got to confirm local lake swimming (sort of across the street from my brother's house, too). I have many plans to return with brothers and picnic supplied in tow. Many boulders to climb, too.
Plus, it's pretty out there.
IN family news, the cat is slowly adjusting, but she only ventures out when we lock the dog in the back yard.
And the dog?
Small dog costumes are HILARIOUS. Oh, the torture that will be unleashed on this dog between now and Halloween.
Do you have access to river/lake swimming near you?
How do you feel about putting pets in costumes?