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Why I now love the treadmill

23 Feb

So, I’m from New Jersey, I like rock music, it goes almost without saying that I love Bruce Springsteen. And recently I rediscovered Born in the U.S.A.. Seriously, every song on that album is amazing. I think Springsteen is like a modern-day Johnny Mercer, taking the vernacular of real people and putting it in song. Maybe Dylan did it, too. I’m not really sure. I should know more about Dylan’s contribution to American music than I do. But Springsteen pairs those great lyrics with pop and rock.

So you get the point. Since I didn’t get up early enough to run in the park this morning, and I got stuck at work all day (I had planned on leaving early and getting some editing done at home, then going for a run, then doing more work tonight), I had to go to the gym.

I hate the gym. I like Spinning class, I like kickboxing class (although I never go), I like swimming. I like working out with weights, but I hate physically going to the gym, staring at the blinds while I work out half-heartedly, thumbing through an issue of Shape to motivate me. But tonight, I was dying to go for a run. I’ve been stressed at work, I haven’t been getting enough exercise, and my body and my brain needed it.

But before I left, I put Born in the U.S.A. on my iPod. As I walked to the gym, I felt like my body was excited about it–like it was saying, “THANK YOU! Now I can erase the memory of that disgusting mayo-slathered sandwich you ate for lunch!” Sorry, body, but I did specifically ask for no mayo.

I got to the gym, signed up for a treadmill, set it for a hill workout, level 4, 5.0 mph, and started up with my iPod. I skipped through “Born in the U.S.A.” Republicans have ruined that song for me. “Cover Me” was an awsome warm-up, I upped the speed for “Darlington County,” and again for “Working on the Highway.” I noticed the awesome bass line on “Downbound Train,” and even though that’s a downtempo song, I was running, not jogging, and I was smiling. I wanted to sing along to “I’m on Fire” (I didn’t).

But the clincher was “No Surrender.” What a perfect song to exercise to. It was then that I had the brilliant idea of doing an AOR exercise class–none of this Britney Spears and J.Lo crap–just Springsteen, the Stones, maybe Led Zep, who knows? Maybe guys would actually start coming to group exercise classes.

I got up to 6.0 mph for “No Surrender,” and I pictured myself running up that hill in Pac Grove during my tri. I wouldn’t let it get to me. I felt like I was sprinting up it, running to the beat, singing to my fellow triathletes (realistically, I know people would be really angry with me if I actually did that. When you’re in pain running, the last thing you want to see is someone sprinting by you singing some sort of motivational anthem.). I thought of John Kerry’s theme song.

I kept up the pace for the rest of the run, warming down to “I’m Goin’ Down” and “Glory Days.”

It was an awesome run. I don’t hate the gym anymore. And since I’m staying up late working anyway, if I can’t get to the gym until 7 or 7:30 to workout, I don’t need to worry about a late workout keeping me up!

Workout details:
Miles: 3.05
Mins.: 35 (with cool-down)
Hill workout, level 4

I’m a runner!

20 Feb

I ran in the rain yesterday. It was only drizzling, but still. I’m pretty proud of myself.

Chad and I signed up for the Tierra Bella bike ride in April. I need to get in shape, so I’m hoping to be posting more often to this blog!

New Year’s Resolutions

2 Jan

Here are my fitness resolutions for 2005:
– workout at least 3x/week, sign up for personal training session
– become solid blue snowboarder by end of 2004-2005 season (and ride the blue route down the California face at Heavenly)
– run Nike half-marathon in October or do Treasure Island Tri in Nov., do organized bike rides and 5k/10k runs throughout the year

It’s been pouring nonstop since I came back to San Francisco on Wed., but I swore I was going to inaugurate my new fitness regimen by going for a run on January 1. I was all geared up to run in the rain, but looking out the window… Fortunately, Chad and I got out during one of the intermittent breaks of sun. We ran into the park together, then split off. He went left at JFK, back around to Stanyan, then up to Turk and home. I went right, taking my usual route.

This time, I’ve decided I’m going to try the positive self-talk right from the beginning. “Money in the bank, Solis, money in the bank.” That’s my new mantra. And I’m going to work on breathing, which was really a struggle before (in general, I think I need to breathe better. More deeply or something). I really appreciated my new running tights (I also wore my new running jacket, but it was a little too warm for that). My muscles didn’t feel as tight as when I would run in cold, damp weather in just shorts. And I ended up doing about 2.5 miles in about 30 minutes. Not too shabby, considering I haven’t run in ages.

I’ve scheduled my workouts on my calendar (which I have on my iPod). I really, really want to keep them up. In order to do everything I need to do for work this year, I need to exercise so I have a clear mind and lots of energy. Plus, we’re going skiing next weekend, and I’ll need all the strength I can muster to stay afloat in all this new powder we’re getting.

No Wildflower

12 Dec

My friend Rebecca decided not to do Wildflower, and without someone to train with, I don’t think I’m going to do it either. Not to fear, though. Patti just sent me information on a 5k race in April or so to support research into multiple myeloma. I need to start exercising again…

SF Holiday Fun Run

13 Nov

I think I’m going to sign up for this. I need to have a goal to work towards if I’m going to stay in shape.

Progress report

7 Nov

Well, my grand plans to work out 3x a week and add strength training and yoga to my post-tri routine have, well, failed miserably. But I am proud of myself that I’ve worked out at least 2x a week the past few weeks. Yesterday, it was so nice out. As I was running around doing my errands, all I could think was, “I can’t wait to get home and run.” Of course, by the time I did, it was 4 pm and the fog had rolled in. Still, I went, and since I had no time obligations, no training schedule to keep to, no reason to run except that I like to, I just went. I passed my usual turning back point these days (about 1.5 miles from my house) and kept going. I would have trouble breathing, then I’d get control of it again. I ran past the duck pond, past the bison, down to my peak training turning-back point, so I turned back (it took me 25 minutes to get there, not bad).

The way back wasn’t as smooth. I realized that the benefit of running tights isn’t necessarily to keep warm, but probably to keep your muscles warm. Subtle dfference, but an important one. I walked a few times on the way back, but hey, I did run over 5 miles. And still did it in about 50 minutes. Not too shabby.

3:22:03 Pt. 2

14 Sep

After I ate a little bit, I went back to my room, grabbed my bike and backpack, said goodbye to Chad, and rode the 3 or 4 miles through the dark morning along the Bay to Lover’s Point, where we set up our transition area.

Mental note for next tri: Bring your number with you when you get marked. I accidentally told them the wrong number.

About ten minutes before our wave started, we all went in the water “warm up.” It was freezing. My feet went instantly numb. I suddenly remembered a story that another TNTer told me (I forget who) about doing the Pac Grove tri last year. He said it took him halfway through the bike before his feet stopped being numb. I thought it was nonsense at the time, but now I know.

Although most of the TNT women (in purple caps) stayed to the right, I decided to head to the less-populated left side of the crowd, to avoid as many flying limbs and kicking feet as possible.

The starting gun goes off and we run to the water, getting in not quite waist deep before we start swimming, heading for the first big orange buoy and hopefully away from the surfboarders and kayakers marking the rocks in our way (which I had swum over the day before). A channel had been cleared through the kelp from the earlier waves; the only challenge was staying on course as lots of other folks swim right next to you. Someone kept swimming right in front of me, on my left side, but always veering slightly off-course to the right. Annoying.

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