Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My wife, the gym rat

It probably won't surprise any of you who have met or know Rachelle, that she's a bit of a gym rat. She can't always find the motivation to go, but when she actually is in the gym, she's in her element. She knows how almost all the machines work, and she can use them. Sure, she doesn't have "massive guns" (though she'll disagree with that), but she can do multiple reps on all the machines she uses and looks very natural among all the body builders. 

I on the other hand am anything but a natural with working out. While most people look at me and see a big dude who might have some physical skills, what I see is the 12 year old skinny kid who could not bench press his own weight. In fact in high school, my uncle John promised me all of his old baseball cards, but not until I could do just that; bench my weight. When motivated by baseball (or hockey) cards, there isn't much I won't/can't do. It took me all summer and part of the next year, but I could eventually lift my own weight... exactly *cough* twice *cough*

The off-season workout plan called for a gym session last night. Rach did a bike session while I got my run in (more on that in a minute), and then we went to the machines. Some of them I had used before, like the rowing machine and the leg left. My favorite is the leg press, where I can do 2 x 12 reps at over 300 lbs. We also did some stuff that I am not very good at like a standing pull-down and some other stuff I don't even know the names of. 

Lifting isn't absolutely essentially to compete at triathlon, but building some lean muscle is essential to losing weight as the more lean muscle you have, the faster your body burns calories. And any workout that involves my core is something I need to be doing as 56 miles on the bike really tests your stomach and back, let alone 112. I'm not sure how I was able to get through the Timberman ride without doing more abdominal work, but I doubt I'd get through the full Iron distance without it.

So about that run... 

I'm in week 5 of the my Couch to 5k. Day one had 15 minutes of running in 5 minute segments with 3 minutes of rest between each. I was expecting the same for day 2, but boy did I get more than I bargained for. It appears that week 5 is when things start to become more challenging. Last nights run consisted of two 8 minute runs with a 5 minute cooldown in between. And that's not all; Fridays run, the last day of week 5, is a 20 minute run, with no breaks.

Now don't take this as me complaining, but wow was that a big effort last night. And surprisingly I was able to do it. I don't know how fast I was going at the end, but I was definitely faster than race walking pace. I ran at the gym, and the track there is really weirdly distanced. 7 laps of the track is a mile which is weird enough; but from which lane is it a mile and which are longer or shorter than a mile? i shouldn't need a PhD in Mathematics to figure out how far I'm walking on a track. 

Last night, It wasn't something that I cared too much to think about, and just focused on getting through it. I was struggling with just a couple minutes left in the second set, so I'm going to have to really dig deep on Friday. I'm excited in a way though, because this is how I am building up the stamina to run a complete 5k. I'm going to get a good test of where I am on the 30th for our Halloween 5k.


- I made it to the gym last night in part because of Rachelle's motivation to go, but I also took time to read my Timberman race report before I left worked yesterday. Nothing I've experienced in my life has been the kind of challenge that race was. When I read it, I am reminded of what I am capable of.

- Speaking of Timberman, the medal is supposedly in a box at a shipping place at this time. It's supposed to be mailed by Friday and finally arriving sometime in the next 10 days after that.

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