Archive for April, 2008

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Rethinking The Crash

April 30, 2008

After dealing with some killer stomach pain, heading to the hospital, taking in a few bags worth of IV fluids, and spending the night in the ER for observation, I’m starting to think there may be some other reasons behind my energy crash last weekend.

I’m not even positive that lack of energy (see last post) and stomach pains are related, but who knows. Either way, I’m forced to take another few days off of training, and that is ONLY if the pain doesn’t come back. Otherwise, they are going to have to slice and dice, poke around, and probably remove my appendix, which means two to three WEEKS off of training. Not cool.

Anyway, here is a pic of me from the hospital, looking WAY too excited in my hospital bed. Maybe that was because at that point I didn’t realize that I was going to be stuck there for another 18 hours. BLECH!

Here is to hoping that whatever the hell I have goes away soon in time for some nice long weekend workouts!

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Crashing on an empty tank

April 29, 2008

This weekend’s workouts were a complete roller coaster. I’m sure there is something to learn from the whole experience. I haven’t completely figured out what it is, but here is the story.

Saturday:

Got up early for a nice double loop on this new route I mapped out. It was a really nice ride with some decent hills that I pushed pretty hard through. About 2.5 hours in the saddle and I felt pretty good about it until I actually showered up and (attempted to) refuel. I’m not sure if it was my body was just reacting to jumping back into another hard training week after a really easy week, but I was dead. My energy gauge was about 4 feet past E, and nothing seemed to help. I had a bottle of Nuun and Gatorade during my ride, and later packed down a banana, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, zone bar, glass of milk, and another bottle of Gatorade but nothing seemed to help.

Sunday:

I was still more drained than I have been in a REAL long time. It was almost the the point where I felt really sick, but not. My tank was just on empty and absolutely nothing I put down brought me back and my legs were SO sore from yesterday’s ride. I had a long run scheduled and forced myself to slap on my running shoes and slog on for a good 6.5 miles despite feeling completely drained.

I figured this was as good of a time as any to test out my supply of Hornet Juice that I got from the B-fit B-day challenge. Overall, it seemed to work pretty well. It didn’t stop my muscles from hurting, or make me run any faster, but it at least gave me a little boost I needed to get through the whole run. I can’t wait till I get my act together and try it out again when I’m not falling apart.

But still, after my run I was done. Drained. Dead. Empty tank. And trust me, when Jamie is hungry, he is grumpy. I have to admit that I’m not that fun to be around when my blood sugar is low, or whatever the hell was wrong with me.

Since my grocery list of shit that I packed down my throat on Saturday didn’t help, I decided to step it up a little and go for an all out carb fest for dinner. After packing a plate full of bread, pasta and a big ‘ol baked potato for dinner and it actually did the trick! It kicked me out of my slump and brought me back to neutral after a day and a half down in the dumps.

Lesson: eat more carbs.

I’m not sure if that was 100% the cause of my slump, but snapping out of a pretty deep 36 hour slump with some pasta and a baked potato is convincing enough for me.

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My Own Bay State Bike Week

April 24, 2008

I just heard that not only is May national bike month, but May 12-18 is the “Bay State Bike Week” in Boston. Normally I’m totally against any of those lame themed months (not the causesnecessarily, just the month theme idea) and would be against it, but I’ll let it slide this time. It is a part of much larger initiative to support cycling in Boston, another part of which is the creation of a “Bike Czar.” I just think the title Bike Czar is hilarious, but still cool.

The idea is to help people realize that commuting to work by bike is a viable alternative. They are doing this with organized group rides heading from various neighborhoods and ending downtown, passing by free coffee stops along the way. Unfortunately, unlike most people, I work about 15 miles north of the city. This makes my commute (both by car and by bike when I do it every so often) pretty quiet and traffic free, but it doesn’t look like much of this Boston bike commuter party will be along my route to work.

Coincidently, I happen to have another rest week that week and it has gotten me thinking. Since I don’t feel as obligated to stick to higher intensity workouts during my rest week, I’ve decided I’m going to commit to commuting to work every day that week, rain or shine, and share my experiences about what it is like to be a bike commuter. My real interest is to see what the difference is between commuting and riding for fitness.

For triathlon training, I ride early, on the weekends, or after rush hour to stay far away from traffic, and ride out in the middle of nowhere where I’m more likely to pass a cow pasture than a traffic jam. I don’t expect to have such luxuries while commuting. There also aren’t any really “bike friendly” routes to work either. I doubt there is a single bike lane between my apartment and my job, and I have to pass over two major highways just to get there. Not necessarily ideal conditions. At least the 10 mile route each way is relatively flat andย  traffic free, but I’ll have to see if I can discover a more bike-friendly (but likely longer) route.

I’m also fortunate enough to have a shower in my office building. I’ll definitely be taking advantage of that and changing into new clothes packed away in my messenger bag so I don’t get any dirt looks for stining up the office from my coworkers.

So that is it.

5 Days

10 miles Each way

100 total commuting miles.

That doesn’t seem so bad, right? I figure as long as I don’t get run over, still manage to make it to work on time, and am still able to end the week nice and refreshed, I’ll be happy.

Stay tuned.

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Does this spin bike make my ass look fat?

April 23, 2008

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

 

Dear woman contemplating taking spin class,

Want to drop a few pounds? Bikini season coming up? Bored of the treadmill? I hear ya. Now, granted I was born with a Y chromosome, so I don’t really understand, and I’ll probably say something later in this post to either a) insult you or b) make myself look like an idiot, but for whatever reason, I feel the need to continue.

To start off, spinning is great for a lot of things: endurance, strength, fights boredom, burns a crap load of calories real fast, has lower joint stress than running,ย  lets you meet kick-ass instructors named Jamie…

But there are a lot of things that spinning does NOT do, especially give you a big fat ass or huge throbbing man quads. Why do you feel the need to worry about spin class giving you a big ass or big vein covered legs like some steroid soaked body builder or Tour de France rider? Please stop asking me if my spinning class will give you quads that belong on the World’s Strongest Man competition. If it did, I’d have to find a new job because I wouldn’t want to stare at a room full of fat asses all night long. ๐Ÿ™‚

Honestly, unless you are pushing against some REALLY hard resistance for several hours a day, you’ve got nothing to worry about. And if you have some strange fear of actually having muscle tone in your legs and you are on some Olsen twin workout plan, that is a whole separate issue that I can’t even help out with.

Just had to get off my chest.

Dudes dig chicks with strong cycling muscles. Period.

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BBQing out on the porch

April 19, 2008

I’m really enjoying this whole “rest week” thing. It makes me feel a lot better about stuffing my face with beer and burgers. The weather is actually starting to warm up and I decided to use my new mini grill for the first time and chill out on my little porch.

Yes, I know how awkwardly big my spatula is compared to my mini grill. Deal with it. Plus it has a bottle opener on the end, how perfect is that!

Oh, and I realized that I can make a killer mojito. Trust me, you are missing out.

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MMMmmm, Rest Week

April 18, 2008

So this week is my first whole “rest week” in my training schedule, where I am still working out 6 days a week, at least once a day, but a whole lot slower and a whole lot shorter. It feels weird, but great.

I’ve built up all of these little knots, sore spots and tight muscles over the last month or so, and now I’m just working on taking it easy, stretching them all out and doing plenty of “self massage.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Weird thing is that I feel like I’m MORE sore in different spots after a few easy days than I was during the past two weeks, when I was pushing it a lot harder and my body is reacting all funny. You know those knots of tension that you get in your neck/shoulders when you are stressed or sleep in a bad position? I got one of those in my chest the other day. Is it me, or is that really weird? It was this big ‘ol lump o’ muscle on the top of my left pec that was really tight and made swimming really awkward, forcing me to cut the workout short after only 1,200 meters. Then it disappears the next day.

Then yesterday I had this weird calf tightness in my right leg that just wouldn’t let up. I beat the hell out of it with my foam roller, and went out for a nice easy 40 minute run at just over 9:00 pace and it was all better. I love when workouts actually FIX soreness instead of cause it. It is a beautiful thing.

As I was running around town yesterday, which happened to be the nicest day of the year so far, there were TONS of runners out, all chatting it up about the Boston Marathon this coming Monday. I feel like the whole city gets this big burst of energy this time of year and it is awesome. I really love just roaming around the streets and soaking up the athletic-vibes that are floating around.

I will be tracking the race online and on TV in my work’s break room since I can’t take the day off, but SO wish I could cheer on all the racers on Monday. I’m so psyched that the weather looks like it will actually be nice and not the barely above freezing hurricane wind of a mess that it was last year.

So send some good vibes to Triboomer and the rest of the tri-blogger crowd that will be running on Monday!

Happy Friday Tri-Peeps.

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Lonely Spring

April 16, 2008

After sweating out out teaching spinning tonight with my core three spinners (is that the right word?), one of them dropped the bomb.

“So, now that it is nicer outside, is the gym going to keep the same class schedule?”

Basically, a nice way of saying, “now that we can actually ride outside, we aren’t going to be showing up to your stupid class every week and letting you yell at us for 45 minutes straight.”

Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive, but I feel so used! Just because it is starting to get warm outside, you forget about me and all of the ass kicking I put you through all winter and toss me to the side!

Okay, well maybe I wasn’t that beat up by it, and I TOTALLY understand. I’d obviously much rather be riding outside than staring at a blank wall in front of me, but it was a little hit to my ego.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to replace my spinning buddies with my Wheelworks team mates now that we are starting to put together some group rides, one of which is tomorrow morning.

Can I actually wake up at 5:30 and get to the next town over in time to ride before work? We’ll see…

Oh, and it is about 6 weeks to Mooseman!

More updates coming soon.

-Jamie

Update: I ended up being 2 minutes late for the group ride this morning and they headed off without me. Looks like I’m continuing my bad habits from last year.

Note to self, set alarm 2 minutes earlier to 5:28 a.m.