It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Bullshit

Nov 01

I don’t know why, but I had some faint hope that my aggro Ironman training wouldn’t really kick in until the start of 2012. One one hand, I’m really focused on hitting my workouts and pulling a Knutson and training like a hardcore mofo for Ironman Canada 2: Ironman Boogaloo. On the other hand, the holidays are fast approaching and I really want to enjoy my monthly pies, so I was hoping that I could enjoy my newly uninjured body by doing no workouts whatsoever. Wouldn’t it be great to stay thin, strong, and fast without putting in any of the hard work or effort? “Not by a long shot!” my chipper coach Teresa most likely exclaimed as she loaded up my workouts with classes and utter bullshit. For example, here are just the classes and group workouts I’ve got scheduled for this week: Monday: dryland strength class (It sucked; I was tired and Bridget made us do burpees with a biceps curl, one of the poopiest circuit workouts along with triceps pushups, which she also made us do. I hate Bridget.) Tuesday: track (in which I get to do a speed test which basically involves running as hard as you can for 30 minutes so Teresa can assign me new heart rate zones. FML.) Wednesday: dryland strength, cycling class Friday: swim class Saturday: group run Sunday: cycling class, swim class That’s not even counting the additional swims (two) bike workout (one), core workouts (two), and runs (one) I’ve got this week. Tell my wife and kids (meaning “Jason” and “pie”) that I love them, because this girl is going to be living and breathing fitness for the next 10...

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I Always Feel Like Some-body’s Watching Meeeee

Feb 08

I Always Feel Like Some-body’s Watching Meeeee

For the third year in a row, I’m taking Teresa’s swim conditioning class. The first couple years I took the class, Teresa ran it solo. Class size varies from a few athletes total to about three per lane. When the class gets crowded, you could sometimes get away with less than perfect swim form if Teresa was on the other side of the pool analyzing your classmates. However, this year things have changed, making swim class much, much more difficult. Apparently, TN Multisports has gained in popularity enough to add another coach and two specialists to the team. Normally I’d applaud the growth and success of my favorite triathlete’s coaching business; however, these rock star coaches have taken it upon themselves to come to swim class and poke their noses in my mediocre swimming business. Before, I could maybe sneak in a crooked leg kick or the occasional windmill arm and Teresa was none the wiser if she was busy inspecting the far lane. Now there are 2-3 coaches on-hand at any given moment, peering down at you like eagles scanning the plains for a field mouse to eat. A crappily swimming field mouse. Last weekend, I swam a length and brought my head up when I got to the end of the pool. The first thing I saw was a pair of feet. I looked up and Rusty was peering down at me, instructing me to widen my left arm entry. I nodded and took off to swim to the other end of the pool. 20 yards later, I pop my head up and see…another pair of feet. I sigh and look up, and Bridget is staring down at me. What does she say? “Widen your left arm.” Gahhhhhh, I already heard that at the other end of the pool. Boo, hiss. So now I can’t slack when I think the coach isn’t looking because the coach is always looking…all three or four of them. Group workouts just got a whole lot harder…damn those knowledgeable coaches. They really should mind their own business and let me make little to no progress in the water....

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Apparently I Don’t Know How to Breathe

Sep 21

I started doing Pilates (I know, I know) once a week and strength training once a week (throw in dry land and I’ve got 3 days of muscle flexin’ each week) for a pretty important reason (which I’ll get to in my next post, so stay tuned), and both my Pilates instructor and my strength trainer, Eli, keep barking the same order at me: “Remember to breathe. No, engage your core. No, your core.” Apparently, once you get serious about strength training and trying to be healthy, you have to learn how to breathe in a manner different than you have been accustomed to for the past 26 years. Who knew? Every week I meet with Melissa, she chirps at me for an hour and says “Suck in your tummy. Now inhale going down, exhale coming up…” She then watches me sucking in air like a dying fish for a few repetitions before poking my gut until I yank it in so far that I feel like my pooch is going to stick out through my back. Then she nods as if she’s finally satisfied. We continue doing this the entire hour, her poking at my stomach and me whooshing air in and out of my lungs in a highly insufficient manner until I feel like I’m going to pass out due to lack of sweet, sweet oxygen. Pilates, like swimming, is stupid — I can’t remember to breathe all fancy-like while trying to recall fifteen other things simultaneously! Eli is a bit more subtle in his breathing critique. I’ll be mid-lift and he’ll suddenly go, “You’re engaging your core, right?”, at which point I flex my abs in a knee-jerk reaction and respond with, “Uh, yeahhhhh…” Everything requires an “engaged core,” even writing a check for the day’s workout session (okay, maybe not). After our last meeting my abs were sore despite not having done any crunches or ab work — they were all hurty by proxy. Regular, lazy Becca breathing is different than workout breathing. Lazy Becca Breathing is quiet, calm and satisfying. Workout Breathing is loud, shallow, “I’m gonna pop out a baby because I’m in labor and this is how I learned to breathe in...

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My Mr. Burns-esque Triceps

Dec 19

My Mr. Burns-esque Triceps

One of my greatest triathlon weaknesses (aside from running and biking, of course) is swimming. I don’t like swimming. I feel like my stamina in the water sucks, I drag my arm too much, my turnover is too slow, I’m either too hot or too cold, my wet suit is ghetto and ill-fitting, and I find swim training boring and craptacular. My disdain for swimming has reflected in my swim times: every race except for one has resulted in disappointment. I want to improve a lot in 2009, and I figured that a huge area of opportunity would be improving my swim. I think I can shave anywhere from 5-15 minutes off my worst half Ironman swim time, depending on how much I train. So I cued up the training montage music and signed up for a dry land swim conditioning class that would help strengthen my body and improve my swim stroke, technique, and stamina. Teresa teaches the swim conditioning class, and for good reason. She swam for the University of Nevada-Reno and is one fast mofo. My triathlon trainer is often the first female out of the water during races, and she was the fastest female swimmer in her age division at the Kona World Championships. She is pretty much twice as fast as me in the water. It’s depressing. I remember that for my first open water swim she gave me like a 5 minute head start before swimming after me, and she and I got to the buoy at the same time. Sigh. Anyway, I signed up for an hour of interval bike training and then did the swim conditioning class immediately afterwards. I’m not that hungry in the mornings so all I had to eat before working out was 3/4 of a Kashi Go Lean bar and some water. By the end of my dual workout I was ready to devour a mid-size farm animal. Betsy was my swim conditioning buddy that morning. We started by squatting down and chucking a huge weighted ball back and forth to each other, then we did about 40 triceps dips. After more ball passes and a second set of dips I was already feeling the dreaded jell-o...

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