Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mis-adventures in IT band land

I decided to go jogging the other day. It was a crappy day at work, I was generally in a bad mood, and I knew running (or in my case jogging) would do the trick. And since it's been exactly a month to the day since I last ran I figured it was time to hit the streets again.

I jogged to the gym, worked out for a bit, and jogged back home. That put in a total of 6 [very easy] miles. But what happened during my jog was completely unexpected. And it made me furious. I actually did stop at one point and screamed because the anger was too much to contain.

My IT band was causing the pain on the outside of my leg like it did during the marathons a month ago. And it hurt like it did then. In other words, it made me feel like the month I took off was completely pointless.

Running means a lot to me. It's literally the one glimmering light I have in my otherwise shitty day-to-day life. And I haven't found anything else that gives me anything near the satisfaction. Swimming is an okay sport but it's too lonely and it's really not fun when you have someone pushing you to get your heart rate near 170 BPM for an hour. I'm growing a fondness for biking but it's still nothing that's enough to replace running.

I really don't know what to do. I'm at a very odd point in my life. I'm dissatisfied with working and I don't think getting another job is the answer. I feel alone most of the time and I feel overwhelmed with everything I need to get done every day. And the thing that makes me happy, running, I can't do right now.

It's not clear to me what the bigger picture is out of all of this and that's another point of frustration. I hope something comes along soon because in all honesty, feeling this depressed inside literally hurts.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Iron spinning

In my continuing saga of doing some form of exercising before starting marathon training in January (for Fargo) I did another spin movie. This time the new Iron Man movie -- which is fantastic by the way -- was the topic of interest.

I rented it through iTunes and did the spinning in Zone 2. Check out my stats here.

The spinning was just under 2 hours and I covered about 25.5 miles according to the [accurate] cadence monitor on my bike.

My goal for the next month or so is to do more strength training before hitting the trails again. Now that we've got the cooler weather I really have to fight the temptation to go outside and run. But I think in the long run (pun intended) it'll pay off more dividends to stick to swimming laps with the Master's group, spinning at the gym and at home on the weekends, and doing some cross country skiing when we get enough of a base for that.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Stationary Cycle

This winter I'm taking a little different approach to my fitness. With swimming I'm going to focus primarily on form. Yes I'll still be with the Masters group on Tuesdays and Thursdays and yes they'll be hammering me to go faster and harder. I'm going to do my best to not be pushing up too high into heart rate zone 3 in those workouts. Sure they'll be hard but as long as I focus on good form during these intense workouts instead of focusing on speed I'll be fine.

I haven't figured out what I'll do about running yet. I know cross country skiing is in the plan and with the looks of this winter season so far we should be in for a great deal of snow. I may do some semi-long runs here and there but strictly in Zone 2. No pressure at all to push the issue.

It looks like my deal to sell my trainer fell through the cracks so it looks like I'll be sleeping with my bike this winter (not literally but it's now a new addition to my room). The trainer is set up right in front of my computer so I can watch movies while on the trainer. Today I broke it out and it worked out pretty well.

My new GPS watch synched with my heart rate monitor and my cadence monitor so I was in business. Unfortunately I didn't figure out how to turn off the GPS so in the nearly 2 hours I was watching Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc my watch was gathering GPS data and using that as my distance traveled instead of my cadence monitor. What a mess. It took nearly 3000 data points so on a map it looks like I've got this huge cluster of crap surrounding my house.

On a funny note, the watch did tell me that by the end of the movie I physically traveled 11.75 miles. That's a lot of back and forth rocking.

More importantly I kept my heart rate in Zone 2 for 1:43:30 of the 1:49:42 I was cycling with only 2 minutes in Zone 3. I also burned over 2300 calories. I definitely earned my Panerea today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Little Recharge

It's election day in the United States so what better topic to focus our attention on than swimming?

Okay, that's debatable. But case in point, I'll be talking about swimming. And it was a great day in swimming. Today our workout was a bit of a challenge:

Warmup: 150 yd free, 150 yd choice, 150 yd kick
4 x 50 yd on 1:05
150 yd
4 x 50 yd on 1:05
300 yd
4 x 50 yd on 1:05
450 yd
4 x 50 yd on 1:05
600 yd

The 150, 300, 450 and 600 were all timed but I can't remember the times and they were decreasing. That means the 300 we had to do faster than the 150. The 450 was faster than the 300 and the 600 was the fastest of all four.

It was amazingly challenging but we got through it. The fun thing was I led lane 2 in the workout. I led all but the 600 because as it turns out I have no attention for counting laps. Plus I was running out of gas at the end.

But all in all it was a great swim and I'm glad I went and worked it out. We have a swim meet in a few weekends and I have every intention on going. It should be great fun!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Beautiful Weekend Ride

It's been a while since I really did a decent workout because of my IT band injury a few weeks back. Like the responsible guy I am I took it easy and really did some serious resting for it.

Today ended daylight savings time which means it gets dark at noon. But on the bright side we get an extra hour to sleep. Today was particularly beautiful so I decided to take one last bike ride to end the season. I decided to bike Lake Minnetonka along my familiar path: Head counter-clockwise around the lake starting in Wayzata and heading out to Mound. From there I head south to Highway 7 and around to Excelsior and then along the south arm of the lake back home.

It's probably my favorite route. I never get tired of it. The Lake Minnetonka area is breath taking and with as many things as there are to do in that area it's a shame I never head on out there for entertainment.

A few things I saw along my path include Lord Fletchers, Minnetonka Center for the Arts and the Noerenberg Garden Park. None of which I've been to but have passed by countless times.

All in all the ride was... odd. Like I said, it's been a while. My quads were up to par but my "seat" definitely wasn't (yes, I will be in serious pain tomorrow). But what struck me as odd was how exhausted I was when I got home. I didn't push this ride too hard -- my goal was to keep a steady cadence -- but when I got home and after I got everything put away, I could barely keep my eyes open. I was so exhausted I had to take a nap.

Not sure what to make of all that but I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.

Here are the maps. One is on the way out: from my place to Mound. The other is from Mound to Excelsior and back home. On the way out something happened with the watch. I either hit it or it acted up but for some reason it stopped recording data after I got out of Wayzata. This is VERY disappointing but not much I can do about it now. Except go out for another ride.

The ride out.

The ride back.