Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So that's what this is

My back has been hurting the last couple of days. It's on the left side, sort of in the middle of the butt cheek, but deep. I thought it was from overuse, or from increasing my training too quickly, and that it was the lumbar spine. I talked to Coach S and she said it was the sacroiliac joint, and that it is very common in triathletes, and she herself has problems with it. Another woman said she also had that problem. They showed me some stretches, but that foam rolling it, active release therapy, massage, chiropractor, etc might be needed. It made me feel better, that is was a common, and treatable thing, and not a "end to my training and no Longhorn triathlon" thing.

So I went home and found the Thera Cane I used on my shoulders and after 5 minutes it felt MUCH better. I could dig the hook end right into the spot and it hurt, but it was a good hurt. More freedom of movement of that leg, and just loose and good. I can still get it to twinge if I unweight my left leg and let it hang, putting pressure on the ligaments of the sacroiliac joint, but it doesn't hurt to sit or stand anymore.
Now, there may still be something else going on, and I am going to not do two a day workouts for a little while, but this was a big step in the right direction.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Heart Wimbledon

Breakfast at Wimbledon has just started- they cover it live starting at 6 am on ESPN2. It is so great to have the smacking of tennis balls to accompany my breakfast, as opposed to any of the early morning shows. With the French Open, I would Tivo all the broadcasts, and then watch them in the mornings, but Breakfast at Wimbledon is even better.

Roger Federer is my favorite player, even if he's been in a bit of slump lately. He seems like a nice guy, and he makes these impossible shots seem so easy. And he doesn't grunt. Both James Blake and Andy Roddick grunt a little, but not as much as the women, especially Maria Sharapova. I can't stand her- the grunting, the slowness in between points, the exact same putting the hair behind the ears before each serve. I can't stand that. I don't much like Rafael Nadal either- he pulls out his wedgie before each serve. Hello- if you're #2 in the world, can't you afford some underwear that fits!

And even though Andy Roddick just got engaged to some girl, he's secretly my boyfriend. We meet for bagels sometimes. Okay, only once, and I couldn't get the nerve to talk to him, but he was really cute in real life, much taller and thinner than on court. If I could have said hello, I'm sure he would have dumped the girlfriend for me immediately.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shitty Dog Owners

I went to the trail to do a 5 mile run on my own since I missed the Wed track workout and will miss the Sunday long run as well. Not a bad run, though my back is still tight. It doesn't hurt when I run, unless I land unevenly. I had stopped at a water fountain and was doing a little stretch, when I noticed a guy in a recreational kayak with a pointer swimming beside him. He was talking to a guy fishing at this little boat dock. The dog was not neutered (I always notice) but seemed friendly and well behaved, even though this was not an off leash part of the park. The dog proceeded to pee on all the trees, and then took a big poop. I saw the owner was ignoring this, and so I asked him "Your dog just pooped over there, do you need a poop bag?" The park has them dispensers posted everywhere and trashcans are all over the place too. The trail circles a lake and there was a recent newspaper article about how the city approximates that 10,000 lbs of dog poop washes into the lake every year. The lake is closed to swimmers due to the E coli count and lack of shore access for swimmers too, but it is used for sporting events, like the triathlon I did a month ago. I personally don't like swimming in dog poop water, call me crazy!

So the guy, looked at me and said "Oh no, I don't have a poop bag."
I replied "There's one right over there," pointing to the dispenser a couple of yards down the trail."
He said, "There's no trash can."
"There's one a little ways down the trail."
"No one will step on the poop- it's out of the way."
"Right, but it will wash into the lake, where you are kayaking."
"Well, why don't you pick it up?"
"It's not my dog's poop. It's your dog's poop."
At that point he finally shut up(he is one of those loud talking guys.) He stared at me for a second and then turned to the fisherman guy and continued their conversation about fishing poles, and how far he went last weekend. I certainly wasn't going to pick up his dog's poop for him, so I turned around and resumed my jogging. But I could hear him as soon as I turned my back.
"I hate someone telling me what to do."

I kept jogging, but of course, started thinking of all the things I should have said or done to this jerk:
1. I could have stopped and turned around to finish the conversation, since he wasn't done and wanted to talk about me behind my back, but loud enough so I could hear. There is no reason not to pick up your dog's poop! Unless you don't have hands- that might be the only case. Even blind people are taught how to scoop up after their guide dogs!
2. I could have picked up the poop and thrown it at him. I don't think I run fast enough for this one, but this was the most satisfying one to think about.
3. I could have told him about the camping philosophy of Leave No Trace, or Pack It In, Pack It Out.
4. I could have called 311 on his off leash, unaltered, dog.
5. I could have taken the dog and run back to my car and directly to the shelter, where he would have to pay to get his unaltered dog out, or have it altered there.

But I didn't do any of those things. I just stewed about during the rest of the run, and then posted it on here! Too bad the dog seemed pretty nice, because his owner was an asshole!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spin Class take two

I went to the early morning spin class again. I'm getting better about timing as well. If I get up at 5 am and leave the house at 5:15, I arrived at 5:30, and had to wait for the coach to arrive. I do want to get there early to get a team trainer and there aren't that many, but that's too early. I did take a little nap in the car, which was nice. Today I woke up at 5:15 and still got there about 5:35, so still had time for a little nap.

A different coach this morning- I think there are about 5 coaches in all, and this one was great. I think she's in charge of the whole program, but it's hard to tell. Felt a little more comfortable, but did core for 15 minutes afterwards, and that was tough. My back is a little tight, especially on the left side, and doing planks makes it twinge-y.

A lot of the other people have aero bars on their bikes, and I covet them. They look all cool, and they take the pressure off your hands, which is a problem for me. My right hand falls asleep, even after changing gloves, adjusting the handlebars at my LBS (local bike shop in triathlon lingo), and changing positions frequently. The problem with aero bars for me is my gut is in the way. It's bad even now when I use the drop handlebars, but in the aero position I would be even further bent over. It's just not very nice to be punching myself in the gut with each pedal stroke. Hm, how to fix that?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Long Run

Long runs are on Sunday morning at the Hike and Bike Trail. It was already hot by the 7:30 start time, and the trail is really busy. I did 4 miles, but there were some IM CDAers going 8 miles. The purpose of a long group run is run at a slower pace, for a longer distance with a group. That's all well and good, but no one runs as slow as I do. I average about 15 minutes per mile. That's running. My walk is about 18-20 minutes per mile. I'm overweight and I have short legs. Sometimes, when I'm getting lapped by the 8 mile runners (they did 2 four mile loops), I wonder if they could run as fast as I do if they were carrying an extra 100 lbs. I'd like to think they couldn't, but that's not really the point. The point is to think how fast I could go if I weren't carrying the extra 100 lbs. And really I'm only about 85 lbs overweight now, but still.

As I mentioned, the trail is really crowded, and there is some good people watching- usually as they pass me. There are people of all shapes and sizes, dogs, strollers, bikes, etc. One woman, probably mid 40s, maybe 20 lbs overweight, she passed me and then turned around and said "Keep it up, I was you a year ago." And then she turned back around and kept jogging. It's nice to hear encouraging words, but I hope a year from now I'm not a 40 year old. I did pass her as she stopped for water and smiled, but it sort of bugs me for some reason. It's funny because I've been encouraged by a number of people when I've been out running- I guess they're surprised someone as large as I am is actually running. In a race, I'm all about hearing encouragement, but in just normal everyday life? It seems strange. And do they encourage everyone? Or just the fat people? Do I look like I need encouragement? Do I have a grimace on my face? Hm.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spin Class

I'm trying to hit all the major types of classes my New Triathlon Training Group has to offer, and next up- the 6 am spin class. I've been to spin classes at my gym and actually like them. There they turned the lights off and turn up the music and it's a very intense, high endorphin rush type of class. The spin class here uses trainers like the one on the right. They are really cool because you use your own bike. It took a little getting used to- it's more unsteady that a stationary bike. And I didn't realize there's an adjuster knob at the back that regulates the pressure on the rear wheel. So I was at my biggest gear and not working hard at all for the first 15 minutes until I asked the woman next to me, who helped me adjust it. And then it was much harder, but better. I managed to keep up for the most part, though the cadence is the hard part for me. I know going at 90-100 cadence in a smaller gear will help in endurance cycling, but at 100 cadence, I feel like I'm jiggling and bouncing all over the place. I need to work on smoothing that out. But overall a good time, and at 6 am it's a lot cooler and less crowded than the afternoon spin classes, so I'm going to stick with that.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Track Workout

Where I live, it's 100 degrees at 5 pm. When is track practice? 5 pm. No shade. Very little breeze. Why? Why do they schedule an intense workout at the hottest time of the day, at just about the hottest place? I didn't want to go, and had decided against it. And then I got bored. My work schedule right now is very light. I have more time than I know what to do with and it kills me. I could be doing important things, I could have more things to do than I have time for, and really, I have things to do, they're just not the things I want to do. Sure there's always cleaning, and lawn mowing, and those sorts of things. But the fun things, or even the halfway decent things- not enough.

So I went to track practice and just about died. Luckily the coach tonight was aware that there were a bunch of newly joined members, and we did a modified workout. But it was still 100 degrees, and we did an hour of running and then core exercises afterwards. I'm in the best shape of my life right now from the Olympic distance triathlon training, but I'm still overweight, and the rest of the group is really super fit. And as intimidating as that is, I don't think I'd like it if everyone was shlubby and fat. I'm working towards being like them, and the training must work if that's the result!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Triathlon Training Group

I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon two weeks ago, and even before the big race, I knew I was hooked on triathlons. There is something very appealing about the whole thing- the team mentality in training, the part of doing three sports, the social aspect, getting fit, etc. I enjoyed my first training group but didn't want to raise any more money, when really, I'm NOT saving lives one mile at a time, I'm just running. I just wanted a group of people to work out with and the expertise of a coach.

So I researched the different options available and found the New Triathlon Training Group. I chose a swim practice for my first time out, because I would consider that my best sport. I'm not fast but I am very comfortable in the water. So the Half Ironman swim distance is 1.2 miles or 2000 meters. What was our workout? 2700 meters. 80 minutes of swimming, with drills, and accoutrements like fins and buoys. I knew I was looking for a hard core group, but this was seriously hard core!

And there are Ironman triathletes in this group. Real live people that have done that. I'm so in awe. There are about 150 total athletes and they're all training for different events- from Ironman to sprints. That is a good and bad thing, because we're all mixed in together. I'm glad the First Training Group prepared me well, because I'm not totally in over my head, but this is definitely a step up, and I like it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hello There!

So both my sister and mother have blogs, and very good ones. And I've discovered that a bunch of triathletes have blogs as well that I enjoy reading for information and inspiration. And now I'm going to jump into the fray and give it a try as well.

I'm a little (okay a lot) nervous about sharing some of the details of my life with strangers and also with people I do know. But at the same time, I'd like to have a record of this part of my life, and maybe connect with other people, and learn that I'm not so strange after all. But I am going to be extremely vague on purpose so that people don't meet me one day and make the connection between blog world and real life. Maybe one day I won't be so scared (that whole letting people in and what if they don't like you thing), but for now, this is the way it will be.