Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Pool Nazi

Friday was yet another crazy day. I hope this doesn’t keep up. It was my swim day and I find swimming the hardest workout to get in because it is the only one I have to go to a gym to complete. The others I can do at home. However, I had to go to Pittsburgh for the day for some surveys. I also had to pick up my Clif Bars at Whole Foods because they had a fabulous sale on them – buy one box for $10 get one free. Sadly, I also had to attend the wake of my next door neighbor, a 52 year old man who had been battling cancer for the last year.

I left my house around 6am and did not have one second to waste. I managed to drive to Pittsburgh, complete 3 surveys, stop off for the Clif Bars, and attend a wake. By this time it was 7pm and I still needed to get my swim workout done. Bally’s closes at 9pm on Friday nights so I had to get over there before then. Immediately following the wake, I dragged my poor children to the gym with me because Lou had a meeting with a potential client (can’t cancel on a potential client). I’m sure sitting in the lobby of Bally’s was exactly what they wanted to be doing on a Friday night (NOT). My planned workout was for 1,200 yards.

I went to the locker room, changed into my swimsuit and quickly rinsed off before going to the pool area. Now this is where it gets interesting. I walk into the pool room and it was downright crowded. Every lane was filled with 3-4 seniors, some had even more. And yet amazingly, none of them were swimming. OK. But none of them were doing any form of exercise either (water aerobics, running in the water, etc.). Every single one of them were doing nothing except standing around talking to one another. It was like a senior night club only in a pool. I asked the lady standing in the pool with only two people in it if I could share the lane. She glared at me and asked in a thick German accent “Did you zhower before you came in here?” I said yes. She then said “You are not clean enough to get in the pool. Is zis your first time here? You must be clean to enter!” My jaw was on the floor. Did I stink? I didn’t think so. I looked around and saw people going from the steam room getting all sweaty and then getting into the pool and/or hot tub. I could not believe she had no problem with that. I had no other choice but to go back into the locker room for a full shower before I came back. Whatever.

After I got into the pool, a guy in the lane next to me said “You look fast. Are you fast?” I told him it was an optical illusion, that I was slow. I started my warm up and after two laps he asked “Do you want to race?” As polite as possible I said “No thanks, I just want to get my work out done.” He said OK. Except as soon as I started each lap, he would swim a lap too. At the end he said “You beat me.” or “I won.” or “You are fast.” or some other remark. I found this to be very strange and annoying. Is it just me? I don’t think so. I don’t mind saying hello of being friendly but I thought this was a bit overboard.

By the way, I now have a working theory as to why there were men’s swim trunks on the bottom of the pool.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

They really do go with everything...

It has been a crazy week. At least it seemed so. I have been doing my workouts as prescribed. Swim. Bike. Run. Swim. Bike. Run. You know the drill. But this week seemed like I was going here, then there, then here again, then back there. I was pulled in so many different directions. I found my workouts to be the most peaceful part of the day.

One day I had to change the time of my workout and do it on my way home from work. Not so unusual I suppose but normally, when I workout at lunch, I will take off my jewelry before I go and lock it in my drawer. I do this because I don’t like to work out in my jewelry and I don’t like to leave it in my car or in a locker. Well, when I revised my plan, I still wasn’t comfortable leaving it in the car or locker so I wore it to work out. I usually only wear my wedding rings and another ring. But that day I had worn my favorite necklace - my string of pearls left to me by my maternal grandmother.

Now some of you might wonder why I was wearing them – was I at a wedding? funeral? dance? Nope. I wear those pearls as often as I can. They are beautiful. When I first got them I would only pull them out a couple times a year for special occasions wishing I had a reason to wear them more often. Then one day as I was making that same wish, I answered myself with ‘Well, why can’t I wear the pearl necklace every day?’ So I did. Ever since, I have been wearing them several times a week. That was about 5 years ago and I think about my grandmother every time I do.

Needless to say, when I worked out that day, I wore my pearls. It is true what they say – they really do go with everything. I have never felt so pretty and feminine as I did that day working out wearing my grandmothers pearls.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Even Steven

Yesterday was my bike day. However, I was in the field away from my office. Like I said before, that usually throws me off schedule. However, yesterday was my lucky day – and I’m not even Irish. I was in Mansfield, OH doing a survey of a YMCA. Jackpot!

I always have my workout clothes in my car just in case an opportunity presents itself to get a workout in when otherwise I wouldn’t normally. As a card carrying member of the Lake County YMCA, I was able to do my bike work on a really nice life cycle at the Mansfield YMCA after I was done with my survey. I tell you what, that place is gorgeous! It is brand new and way better than the YMCA in Lake County. Their pool area looks like the Great Wolf Lodge. I'm not kidding.

Today was my run day. I went out at lunch and ran about 3 miles. I forgot to pack my socks in my bag but went out anyways. I figured – a lot of people do it and it is only 3 miles. Big mistake :-( My feet are like those of a newborn baby (well mostly). I have no calluses, no dry patches, no funky black toenails, nothing. About halfway thru, I felt my shoe rubbing the top of my left foot. Another ½ mile later, I felt the other shoe rubbing the top of my right foot. Ouch. I believe I’ll live but I think I’ll be throwing a few spare pairs of socks in my car so it will never happen again. I will never take socks for granted again.

I guess today offsets my luck from yesterday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now

OK. Today it really begins. Today it is my swim day. 1100 yards with lots of drills. Nothing crazy. I get to wear my new goggles I got last week. I just love them. They are Aqua Sphere Seal. I have used them twice so far and have noticed a significant difference. First is the fit. They are a little larger than most goggles and look more like a ski mask than swimming goggles. They sit below the eye on the bone so it doesn’t hurt me the way my old goggles did. Second is the seal. It is fantastic and I have yet to get any water in the goggles. They also don’t leave funny marks on my face when I’m done swimming. And third, they are so clear and easy to see thru with their 180°wide angle view. I could not believe how well I could see thru them.

However, because of my clear vision, I discovered a few things about the pool I swim in. The bottom and sides are very rusty. I find this odd, especially since it is made of concrete. I’m guessing it is rebar rusting thru the cracks. Next, the water was a little on the green side. And last, but most disturbing of all – there were two pairs of men’s swimming trunks on the bottom of the pool. Not one but two. Yeah - I got nothin.

Luckily, the next day both pairs of trunks were gone and the water was no longer green.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware the Ides of March

Well, today is the official start to my 26 week training plan that will take me to the finish line at the Rev 3 triathlon. And just like the first day of school and the first day of a new job, there is not a lot going on. In reality – nothing is going on. I thought I’d start the first day of the next six months of my life with a day off from working out.

Well – sort of. It just worked out that my scheduled day of rest every week is Monday. I’ll see how that goes and switch it if I have to. Should be ok. I am just following the training schedule out of my training book. I happen to be one of those people who thrive on routine. I would even go so far as to say that I excel at routine. If my training plan says to take Monday’s off – I take Monday’s off. It throws me out of whack if I have to think about taking Tuesday’s off, even though it really doesn’t matter. If my training plan said to jump on one foot, I’d jump on one foot without question. If my training plan said to juggle bean bags, Id juggle bean bags without question. I probably should ask questions or at least find out why I am doing a certain something, but I don’t. I believe the training book when it says if I follow the plan I will get to the finish line. Sounds good to me.

By the way, there is no meaning to my title. I just liked it. Et tu?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How Lucky Can You Get?

I have the good fortune to work for a company that not only wants their employees to be health and fit but truly supports my triathlon endeavors. They actually want us to participate in running and triathlons and they do nearly everything to make that possible. They pay for a portion of my annual membership to a gym and if we work out at lunch we get an extra 15 min. This is fantastic, especially since I do my swim training during lunch. I can get my yardage in, take a shower and be back at my desk in less than 1 hr. 15 minutes. I will run and swim every other day. I try to get outside to run, but thru the winter – especially this one - I have been using the treadmill at the Bally’s near my office.

My training plan consists of 6-9 workouts per week. That usually digs into family time for most triathletes. I know I’m fortunate to get the majority of my workouts done during the workday. If I do as many of the others early in the morning, I won’t be cutting into my evenings with my family hardly at all. I’m sure this will change when I get into the longer runs or bike rides, but relatively speaking, I know I’m luckier than most.

Now you know why going out of town throws such a monkey wrench into my schedule. I’m usually on the road working during lunch when I’m out of town. Last week was especially trying. I spent a week in Indianapolis at a hotel that was in the process of renovating their banquet rooms. The rooms were directly across from the glass walled pool and workout room. Believe me when I tell you the ick factor was very high as I was trying to workout directly across from all the contractors working on the remodel. I think guys just can’t help themselves regardless of the freak show in front of them. Sorry guys.

I did get out one evening for a run in Indi. It was so nice out there and the sun sets a little later than here because it is further west. I was running in shorts and a shirt and jacket. It was about 48F but once I got going I was very warm. When I got back to the hotel, I was in the elevator with an elderly gentleman. He looked at me like I was crazy and asked if I was just outside in my outfit. I said ‘Yeah – it is so warm outside’. His jaw dropped and said ‘Its freezing.’ I asked where he was from he said Florida. He asked where I was from and I said Cleveland and it was 15 degrees cooler there this week than in Indi. I guess it truly is just relative.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Out of Town

This week I have been out of town for work. Part of my job requires I go out of town to visit with the insured clients in my region. My region covers Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. I also service western PA and New York because I’m only a couple hours from each. Needless to say, the potential for me to be out of town is high.

This is not as exciting as it seems. One of the hardest parts about it for me is living for a week without my DVR. I cannot believe how my DVR has completely changed the way I watch TV. The beauty of recording something and skipping through the commercials is something to behold. It is way more efficient than a VCR because the remote control allows you to move fluidly through the program with ease and pause and rewind if there are any interruptions. And there are always interruptions. Being forced to watch the commercials and stupid parts of American Idol this week is driving me crazy. I only like to watch the singers singing and Simon’s comments. The rest I blow through in no time at all. I can watch 2 hours of TV in about 45 minutes.

The other part I’m struggling with this week is finding time to work out – especially swimming. The hotel has a decent workout room and I have been using their treadmill and the recumbent bike. But they only have one of each and I have only been able to use it very late in the evening (at least late for me) around 9pm at night. The hotel is booked solid this week so the equipment has been in use nearly every time I went to check. I was hoping working out this late would tire me out. It didn’t. It pretty much had the opposite effect. I was up much later than I wanted to be every night. However, I have to admit, part of that is probably because I’m not sleeping in my own bed. It kinda sucks. I wake up tired, not feeling rested and when I get back to the hotel room all I want to do is take a nap. I don’t, so I grab a bit to eat and then try to work out. After I work out I get a second wind at 10pm when I’m usually asleep and am awake until after midnight. I haven’t been able to work out in the mornings either because the workout room has been packed at that time too.

I really have to figure it out.