Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Check-In

I was a little better this week, I suppose. Well, so far this week I mean. Sunday we did a 30-mile bike ride, yesterday I ran (20 minutes at an insane 8:30 minute mile pace) and lifted hardcore. I'm so sore today it's ridiculous. Tonight doing Butt & Gutt with Michelle at the gym and maybe taking a spin class if it's not the late one. Otherwise I'll run and do spin tomorrow.

I've been really angry lately. I think it's because I really have to buckle down and figure out what I want to do with my life. It's time to go back to school and get either a masters or my law degree, or it's time for a job change, or it's time for both, and I just can't figure out what I want to do.

So because of all that anger, I thought that going to the gym last night and kicking my ass would help. It did, for like maybe a half hour.

Sources of anger to follow:

I hate my apartment. It's so dark and dirty and small and depressing. It gets no natural light except for in the bedrooms. I get NO cell phone service anywhere. Our new neighbors have to ridiculously annoying yappy dogs. Lindsay and I had a really, really bad fight this weekend over her not wanting to deal with the ramifications of me going to law school. I can't stand my roommate and her passive-aggressive way of dealing with EVERYTHING.

I know I'm afraid to fail. I always have been. I struggle with it constantly, and it's one of the reasons that I become so easily complacent in my life. And I know thats one of the reasons I've always struggled with losing weight. I'm afraid to take the leap and finally buckle down into a serious routine, because I'm afraid I'm going to fail. Or I'm afraid I'm going to be successful. Or I'm afraid I'm going to be successful and then fail, which would be even worse. Losing the weight, being happy, and then slowly putting the weight back on. I've done it before - after I left the Army I was the smallest I had ever been. Six months later I was the biggest I had ever been. And it's the same with making a career/education change - I know it's something I need to do to make myself better. I'm just afraid that I'm going to let go of something I'm good at (my current job, even though I'm not really a fan of it) to go into something that I may potentially fail at. For instance: what if I leave my job now (which has a lot of job security, even barring the current economic crisis), go to the police academy, and get hurt and have to drop out. I'm jobless. I have nothing. And having nothing in NYC is most definitely NOT a good thing.

So my issue lies mainly in the fact that I'm afraid to let go of something that works for me, something that I'm good at or in, to make a change and risk failing and having nothing. Even if taking the risk means doing something I've always wanted to do and would make me happy. And that goes for both the job and losing weight.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hi Slacker

I've been bad. I can admit this. I have just been so sore, so tired, and so run-down that it's amazing.

So I took the pump class on Tuesday. Wednesday I took my abs class, a spin class, and then I ran for ten minutes. The transition from the bike to the run was painful and I really don't want to experience that again, so I'm trying to practice as much as possible. Aaaaaand I haven't worked out since then. Oops. I was sore all the way till Sunday. Friday night Lindsay met my parents (went really well. Yay!) And then we went to see my favorite cover band with all my friends from home. We didn't get back to her place till 330AM. I slept in Saturday morning, she went to the gym (because she's crazy).

I was going to go for a bike ride Saturday afternoon, but when I got to the place I ride at and got on my bike, I realized it was totally busted. My saddle is falling off, my handlebars are bent off at a 45 degree angle...It was really weird. I proceeded to totally embarrass myself and fall off the bike, cutting open my knee which proceeded to bleed for the next 36 hours.

Sunday I went to the final game at Yankee Stadium, and spent 12 hours at said Stadium. So no exercise. Went back to Jersey yesterday because I left my running shoes there, and proceeded to not run. I'm going back out tonight, and hopefully I can convince Linds to go for a run with me.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quick Update

It's Wendesday, and I think I've finally recovered from the tri on Sunday. I've been eating well (with the exception of a huge binge after the race, but come on. I had just swam/biked/ran for an hour and twenty minutes at my max. I deserved that grilled chicken with carmelized onions, jack cheese, and barbeque sauce on garlic bread. And wings. And fried ravioli. And two beers. But hey! The chicken was grilled!). I took Monday off because I wanted to let everything recover fully, and then went back to it yesterday.

I went out to Jersey to go to the gym with Lindsay. She is hugely involved with these gym classes run by this guy/company called Les Mills. They do everything - weights, step classes, high-impact aerobics-like things, yoga-esque classes, dance, a version of spin, and a few more that I'm sure I'm forgetting. I took the weights class (BodyPump) with her a few weeks ago, and really loved it. So I went out there last night and took the class again. It's an hour of non-stop interval weightlifting set to music.

Tonight I'll do my usual abs and spin classes. Tomorrow I'll probably try to run, Friday I'm taking off, Saturday I'm running and taking Pump again, and then Sunday we're going for a long bike ride (I'm hoping for at least 25 miles).

I'm excited, because I got a call back from my gym yesterday about a position I applied for. Nothing crazy - just working reception and the front desk. But I need to get another job, because the current financial situation (or crisis, I suppose) is the one and only majorly stressful thing in my life. I am, however, thinking about getting certification as a group fitness instructor in spin. Or Les Mills version of spin, RPM.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Ok. So maybe all my talk about drowning was a bit...dramatic, over the top, and ridiculous. Not only did I finish, but I met my goal of finishing in 1 hour, 20 minutes! I think I can easily say that I totally kicked ass. So here's my time breakdown:

Swim: 5:40
T1: 1 min 14 seconds
Bike: 39 minutes 40 seconds
T2: 44 secodns
Run: 31 minutes, 43 seconds

For a total finish time of 1 hour, 20 minutes, 8 seconds.

I'm taking those eight seconds off though, because I had a minor gaffe during the second transition. I had my CO2 cartridges (in case a tire was running low), in the back pocket of my jersey, since I don't use a saddle bag. They're kinda bulky, and bounce around in my jersey while running. I had meant to take them out after I put my sneakers on but FORGOT! So after I had left the transition area I had to turn around, go back to my area, empty my pockets, and THEN start again. But whatever. I DID IT!

We got the transition bag together the night before.

We woke up at 4:15, and this was pretty much how I felt about the whole thing.

So feeling like that it was my job to go outside and get the bikes on the car. I had never used this rack before, so I was all sorts of confused. I had to rack and unrack them like four times because I couldn't figure the damn thing out. But finally I got it done.

So we left, got some coffee, ate some breakfast, and made the hour-long trek to Lavallette. We got there, set up our transition areas, got marked up, and did a few warm-up laps in the bay.

So now, the race. Of which, of course I have no pictures of at this point. Lindsays dad was there taking pictures, and once she gets them online I'll steal them and put them on here.

But we were in the first wave of swimmers, and once the horn went off everyone started running into the bay. It was so cool, and totally a surreal moment, when I realized 'holy crap I'm actually doing this!'. The swim was a kind of out-of-body experience - I remember it, but I kind of felt like I wasn't there, if that makes any sense. I was pretty much able to keep my stroke the entire time, but I found it difficult to keep my head in the water because I was so unaccustomed to swimming with such a large mass of people.

T1: SO MUCH EASIER with a full-zip jersey! In and out with no problems. We were some of the first people there that morning, so we set up our bikes and everything right by the exit. It was pretty good.

Bike: LOVE the bike. I was only passed by some guys who were total elites - $10,000 tri bikes, aero helmets, the works. I think I kept a solid 18-20mph pace, and even passed four or five people on my own. It was so much fun. The only thing is, I wasn't challenging myself. I wasn't breathing hard, I wasn't really tired. But I couldn't figure out how to go faster. Less resistance, more pedaling? Higher resistance, less pedaling? Higher cadence? I'm not really sure. My quad starting to cramp up towards the last 3 or 4 miles, but it wasn't bad. I was able to stay in a crouch, riding on my drops, for all but a minute or so when I had to stretch out my back.

T2: Aside from the debacle described above, pretty good. Don't really remember it though.

Run: OHMYGOD so much pain. My shins felt like they were going to split open and explode. I don't know why - I never suffer from shin splints, so...Who knows. After about 1.5 miles they calmed down and I was able to find my stride. Got passed by a lot of people that I beat on the swim and bike, but thats ok. I know the run is my weakest area. Gotta work on that for the 12th. I know that I ran the last 1.5 miles in 14.5 minutes, so I was definitely running negative splits so I was happy.

I had forgotten to start my watch at the beginning of the swim, so I started it when I got into T1. My watch said 1:14 and change when I crossed the finish line, so I figured I had a time of around 1:23 or so, total. But then they said I finished in 1:20.08! I was so freaking ecstatic! I went back on the run course to meet Lindsay (who was a bit behind me), and run the last bit of the run with her. Afterwards we met up with her family and waited for the awards ceremony. They had told me when I checked in that there would be a prize for first time triathlete's, and I thought that with my time I may have gotten something in the womens category. So we waited. And hydrated. And, of course, took a picture (I'm wearing the sunglasses).

There ended up being no prize like they told me, so we packed it up and went home. And my thoughts on triathlons now? I love them and I definitely found my new sport!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Operation Find Don

Please help.

The author of a blog I read, Tomato Nation (written by Sarah D. Bunting, aka Sars), is searching for her 9/11 angel. Please help her Find Don. We all need to find Don.

And read her personal account of what happened that day. She was there; she experienced it; and she recounted it in a way that it more true, more accurate, and more heart-wrenching than any mass-media outlet could ever attempt.

I'm going to drown. Seriously

So my triathlon is on Sunday, and I haven't been in a pool in about...three weeks. I'm getting really, really nervous/concerned/scared shitless that I am going to need to be fished out of the OPEN WATER SWIM IN THE OCEAN OHMYGOD SHARKS AND RIPTIDES AND WAVES OH MY!


But. Seriously. I am rather nervous about the swim. It's 1/4 mile. I know I'm going to kick ass on the bike ride (11.5 miles, aiming for around 35 minutes), and the run (5k, hoping to break 30 minutes). But I'm only going to kick ass on those two parts if I don't DIE IN THE OCEAN first.

Sorry. Sometimes I can be dramatic.

I tried to get into the pool last night. Lindsay took me to the Woodbridge Community Center, but their open swim didn't start till 8PM (we went around...6). Then we went to the Metuchen YMCA, but their open swim didn't start till 930. Both of those times were far too late - I've found that if I work out after 8PM, I don't sleep well/at all that night. So we went back to her apartment and went for a 30 minute run.

Why is it that all these forces seem to be working against me getting into any pool?

But on the plus side, I did just find out about a private school in my neighborhood in Brooklyn that has an indoor pool that may be open for public use. So I need to look into that to work out for the Oct. 12 triathlon we're doing. Speaking of, I need a wetsuit...Ocean swim + October = really cold.

Training round-up:

Tuesday: Rest due to aforementioned scheduling debacle.
Wednesday: Abs and spin (and the spin class was great, btw. I could really tell the difference in my endurance and strength from being on my road bike so much lately).
Thursday: 30 minute run, 2 minutes of which were barefoot. I think I was running at about a 9:50/mile pace, which could hopefully bring me in under 30 minutes for the 5K.
Friday: Rest
Saturday: swim/bike/run brick on the actual race course. It'll be short - 5 minute swim, 6 mile bike, 12-15 minute run - just to get a feel for all the transitions.
Sunday: Triathlon (1/4 mile swim, 11.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run). I'm hoping to finish under 1:20.

Wish me luck! I won't be able to update again until Monday, because like I said before, I only have access to the interwebz at work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Missed workout, oh no!

So I missed my workout last night. I left my office (in the Financial District, NYC) at 420, got on the PATH train at the World Trade Center, transferred at Newark-Penn Station to a regular train, and my girlfriend picked me up at 520. By the time we got to her apartment, and were able to change, get the bikes, load the bikes, and drive the hour to where we were going to ride, it would have been dark. So that was out. She had run that morning, and I busted out 3.5 miles on Monday in an OLD (think 500+ miles) pair of shoes, so my joints were aching. The pool was closed. EVERYTHING was going against us.

So we went shopping.


Today: Abs and a spin class, because I (yet again) left my good running shoes at Lindsays.

Soon I will get this new schedule under control.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

HYC Check-In

Hi everyone.

This is my first check in. This week went pretty well, I suppose. My training has been going extremely well (with the exception of Sundays ride, of course). Yesterday I did a 3.5 mile loop around Prospect Park, and I finished it in about 32 minutes and change - one of my fastest times ever. At least, since I left the Army. So since last week, my mileage has been...

Bike: 31 miles
Run: 5.5 miles

I think I've dropped a pant size (see yesterdays post, where I think I could have taken a 10 in the pants I bought for work).

The abs class I wanted to go to last night wasn't actually scheduled, so I'll try to hit that tomorrow evening. Tonight I've got another bike/run brick with Lindsay out in Jersey. Wednesday will be abs/run, Thursday will be run/swim, Fridays a rest day, Saturday we're biking the course again, then Sunday is my FIRST TRIATHLON!!!! Yay!! I'm gonna go buy a new jersey for the race (a new jersey for my race in New Jersey. Heh). Hopefully I can get my hands on the Brooklyn jersey I've been eyeing. Gotta represent the 'hood! (a new Brooklyn jersey for my race in New Jersey. Heh).

So I've been feeling good about myself. I've been eating well (during the week, at least). I figure that as long as I really watch what I consume during the week, it's ok to go a little crazy on the weekends. Because I admit, I love my beer. I don't necessarily enjoy the buzzed-ness that comes FROM beer, but my god I love the taste of beer. But thats another entry entirely.

And soon I will really get into my reasons for creating this blog and joining the Healthy You Challenge. But not today - I'm at work, which for the time being is the only place I have internet. And that entry will be a little too in-depth for a quick work update.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weekend review and week training schedule

Lindsay and I went out yesterday to ride the course for our triathlon next weekend.


Between the headwinds...And the sidewinds...And my extreme dehydration (due to the approximately 5 beers I drank the night before)...And my lack of food intake...And my flat tire...I felt like absolute crap after we finished. We did about 11.5 miles (which is NOTHING), and I think I averaged about 18 mph, which with the winds was actually an extremely respectable time. But around the last two miles I started to feel really sick, and when I got off the bike I was dizzy and shakey and nauseous and couldn't really think. My brain was functioning at such a low level that I couldn't tie the knots to secure the bikes to the rack on my car. So we went to the QuickCheck and Lindsay got me some chocolate milk (for carbs and sugar), a cliffbar (for food), water (for obvious reasons), and gatorade (for electrolytes). I downed the chocolate milk and cliffbar, and while I stopped shaking I was still really nauseous. I sipped on the water for a while, and after about 45 minutes I was feeling normal again.

We wanted to get a half-hour swim in, too, but we had so much to do that we didn't have time.

On the plus side, I had to buy a new pair of pants for work today, because I wanted to be able to spend another night with Lindsay. So I went to Eddie Bauer, because I love their clothes and had a gift certificate. And I fit into a size 12! And they were loose! I don't know how much weight I lost in the past week, but I do know that when I tried these exact same pants on three weeks ago, they fit but were a little tight. And today they're loose! And I probably could have taken a 10 in them, but I was in a rush and didn't want to have to try on another pair.

So that was very exciting :-)

This weeks workout agenda:
Monday: Abs class and a run (maybe - I left my running shoes at Lindsays. Oops).
Tuesday: Bike and swim
Wednesday: Abs class and a run
Thursday: Bike and swim
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Short bike
Sunday: Sprint Triathlon (1/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 5K run). I'm aiming for a 10-minute swim, 38 minute bike, 30 minute run - I'd love to finish under an hour and twenty minutes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Step in a New Endeavor

I've always been pretty bad at following through on 'resolutions' I make for myself. Be it eating better, working out more, reading new books, staying up-to-date on politics...Anything. But now, I'm tired of being the 'big kid'. Of having people be surprised when they hear I'm an athlete, that I ran a marathon, that I'm training for a triathlon (which, btw, is next week. ahhh!). I want people to look at me and see a runner, see an athlete, see someone who is strong because of their athletic ability, not solely because of their thickness.

So I am starting this blog, and joining the Healthy You Challenge, in the hopes that it will help keep me honest about what I do, what I eat, how often I work out, and will give me a kick in the butt when I skip a workout or five.

So on the agenda for tonight: 14 mile bike run, 30 minute run with my girlfriend down in New Jersey.

Food consumed (so far) today: 8 ounces V-8, banana-blueberry smoothie shake thing, apple cinnamon granola. And enough water to make me pee every hour.