Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NYC snow, triathlon training and birds

I have been pestered about not blogging, but the thing is I have no idea what to say. My writer’s block is as big as Brooklyn in a snow storm.

OK, first a shout out to folks in the Northeast: when the DOT or Sheriff’s office tells you they need you to stay off the roads, they really need you to stay off the roads. Plows can’t get through when you abandon your car in the middle of the street. It’s amazing how people expect instant results during ongoing snow and grouse because they can’t get to the corner for a pack o’cigs.

I've wanted to get that off my chest for weeks.

I’m training for an indoor triathlon and I keep thinking I’m doing something wrong. I knew I couldn’t swim 500 meters, so one Sunday I went to the pool to see if I could swim the back crawl for 500 meters without drowning.

It seems I can.

So now I know I can swim 500 meters on my back, but I did it in about 20 minutes. Now I keep redoing the math and thinking I’ve done something wrong and although I think it is 20 laps, when I get to the event they will say I have to do 50.

It’s like that final exam dream I started getting a year after college graduation.

After I swim, I bike. I dry off, get in the car and drive a few blocks to the sports club where I bike 10 miles on a stationary bike. Last Friday, for a trial run, I went to the YMCA as a guest and I got on a bike. I did that in 41 minutes. Then two days later I tried again and it took longer and it took more out of me, but I was tired when I started.

Lesson 1: get enough rest.

I’ll be training on my own bike hooked to a trainer at home in the family room.

After I bike, I run. So when I went to the Y, I swam half distance, biked all and ran half distance on the treadmill. The run went fine at 1.55 miles. That was fine. I get really red-faced when I run and when I sat down with my mother-in-law, she probably thought I was about to keel over.

I didn’t keel over, but I did have gas way up under my rib cage. At the end of the work day, my stomach was growling. Before I left for the gym, I ate a yogurt.

Lesson 2: don’t eat yogurt and then go for a run. It’s my best advice right now.

To begin my day as a guest at the YMCA, I got into the pool. I used to belong to this Y and it’s pretty upscale: I like it a lot. However, I never got into the pool because it is only 5 lanes wide, 25 yards long and it is always full of swimmers. But the triathlon begins with the swim, so I figured I may as well do it in order and then finish the rest of it with wet hair.

I get to the pool and sure enough, it’s full of swimmers. Swimmers who can, apparently, really swim. I bravely wade into the pool and ask a man if I can share his lane. He said OK as long as I took the wall. That was fine with me because obviously…in case of drowning it would be helpful to be close to the wall and the lifeguard.

Here’s the raw deal I got, though. In this pool I already find unfriendly, I start to swim on my back in a lane I am sharing with a swimmer. A MALE swimmer. Ladies, am I right? You get what I’m saying?

And the beams in the ceiling are perpendicular to the pool. At my regular pool, the beams are parallel to the lanes so I can swim a straight line on my back by keeping my eye to the sky. At the Y they probably didn’t think any untalented swimming fool would be ridiculous enough to actually get in the pool to begin with. So here I am trying to swim on my back and I am either in the middle of the lane or I am running into the wall.

Go ahead. Picture it and laugh. I’ll wait. [taps foot]

In order to keep from being thrown out of the pool and aware of what I am certain is a smirk on the lifeguard’s face, I swim most of the 12 laps doing the crawl. My shoulders ached for two days. I intended to do 12 laps and so I did them and I felt good about that. I never did get into the guy’s way, either. I made sure I thrashed my way down the pool at opposite ends to him, but he lapped me again and again. On a positive note, that meant I had plenty of time to catch my breath.

Since I trained for last fall’s half marathon without losing an ounce of weight, I decided to watch my nutrition and write everything down for the triathlon. When I count my calories, I make better choices since there is only so much room in the day for what to eat. It seems radical to some people, but I write everything down. I measure everything, too. I just had one tablespoon of peanuts. I made a smoothie this morning with ½ cup of pumpkin and so on. I have a twee kitchen scale that does the trick and a million measuring spoons of every size you can imagine down to a pinch.

I filled up all the bird feeders on Sunday afternoon. It was nice to be bundled up and outside. They still aren’t digging on the black oil sunflower seeds or the suet. So since even my cardinals enjoy the bird seed mixture, I will stick to that and mix it into the BOSS I have left. I’ve seen a lot of cardinals this winter. Very pretty.

OH gosh, I forgot to tell you about the mystery guest at Christmas. There’s an upcoming post! I have to go back to the gym now before my guest membership runs out.


Sofia Reino said...

ohhh How I missed your sarcasm my dear and for someone who earlier on had nothing to say... I must admit I am pretty surprised. I did laugh when I was supposed to. And loved every second of it and totally imagined you stumping your feet!

Rose said...

Well, to be truthful, when I have had a bit of time to look at blogs, I must admit I have missed you, too. You usually make me either at least smile, or laugh out loud.

Rambling Woods said...

I do love your blog posts, but post when you want.....You go girl on your training..I had to pull my boots on, does that count? hugs..