Thursday, June 7, 2012

Reflections on training, bike clubing, and running

Here's what I learned last week.
  1. Working out with a personal trainer is harder than it looks.
  2. You probably won't know how hard you worked until the next day.
  3. I cannot run 4 miles on Thursday, workout with a trainer on Friday, run 7 miles on Saturday and expect to walk (let alone ride) on Sunday.
So, I started working out with a trainer last week. Turbo gave me three sessions for Mother's Day, so I finally went. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first. To begin, my trainer Kelly is a too adorable 24 years old, which makes me initially want to hate her a little, but she's won me over, mostly because she seems to be genuinely surprised by what I can do.

I won't lie, my core strength and balance are for shizzz. In our first session, she had me balancing on a BOSU (legs up) and she tossed an 8# medicine ball for me to catch... can you say TIMBURRRRRRRR! (BTW...why is it called a medicine ball?)

I caught the ball and tipped over on my back, rolling like a turtle--that's how you should picture it. I could tell she was trying not to laugh (I was laughing at me though), then she said, "maybe we should just start with balancing for 30 second intervals... OMFG even THAT was hard. I was shaking all over the place. I hate doing things I suck at. I know it'll get better but for now, complete suckage.

Pretend this is me, and imagine that I'm trying to catch a medicine you see the turtle-effect now?
On the other hand, leg strength? CHECK! This morning she had me "sprinting" on the mill, only the 'mill was turned off. I just needed to run as hard as I could and push the belt for 10 30-second intervals with 10 second rests in between. No problem. I mean it was a challenge, but completely doable.

When I was done she remarked, "you know, not too many of my clients finish all 10 the first time!"

I told her about my inability to quit...even when, perhaps, I should. I shared my experience running the Carlsbad 1/2 with a bruised IT band in 2009. That may have scared her a bit.

In any event, I bought 10 more sessions this morning. That should get me through the next month or so, and at least gives me something to focus on in the absence of a race plan. My goal is to lose some weight (of course), but mostly to be more toned, especially in my upper body. I mean I have bathing suits to wear and all.

Speaking of an absence of a race plan...

The San Diego RnR Marathon and Half-Marathon was last weekend. I saw loads of pictures on Sunday (when I could barely walk, which is why I didn't go down to the finish to cheer on friends like all the track club peeps, but especially Irene and Jill who was in from Colorado to run, which makes me a completely awful, terrible, blog-friend or even actual friend), instead, I pathetically stalked a few of my friends who ran and finished as they posted their accomplishments on FB or on Twitter.

I LOVE this picture of both of you! (is the epitome of stalking when you go to a race website and downloading pix of runners other than yourself?) 
I really missed not running it this year. I actually almost registered for it a couple of weeks out and in a moment of rare-maturity didn't because I really am not trained to run even a 1/2 marathon right now. I mean, we all know that I could finish it, but it would have been painful, and who needs to spend $100+ bucks just to be in pain. In retrospect, I wish I had.

It was a funky spring. I started off the year mostly running with the track club as I have been for the last five years. I knew I wouldn't be running the RnR this year because we'd decided instead to train for a century instead, but in training for that, I started missing a lot of the track club runs and instead rode with a San Diego Century training group run through our local Trek bike store.

I'll be honest, I never fully connected with the bike club group. I'm not sure why. The ride leaders were really supportive and even noticed when Mik and I weren't there and told us that he missed us! Both Mik and I were surprised that anyone even noticed (it is a pretty big riding group after all).

Still, we never really connected with too many of the other riders. But I think the biggest issue occurred in around April when there was an error that made with a discount code for registering with the Grand Fondo. Some people were able to register for $25 instead of a 25% discount. One day before the ride, the race organizer sent out emails telling riders about the mistake. The email apologized for the error, but informed us that in order to ride, we'd have to pay the difference. In and of itself, this wouldn't be a problem, but it angered many of the riders (myself included) that the race organizer waited until the day before the event to inform anyone of the error.

In any event, the error led to an email exchange by some members of the Trek bike club group about what was the "right" thing to do (pay the extra fee? get money back? protest to the organizer?) Some of the emails were downright mean and nasty and accused other members of the group of taking advantage of the situation (knowing that it was supposed to be 25% and not a $25 fee) and of being unethical.

Regardless, the tenor of the emails gave me a yukky feeling. I couldn't have imagined the same kind of thing happening with the track club people (first of all, I think that Coach Paul would have made the error known to the race organizer immediately and gotten the situation fixed early on).

After that, I sort of lost my eagerness to ride with the Trek group. I wondered who it was who thought other members of the group were unethical. It's a problem with sending out scathing comments online.

So, the spring was a bit schitzo with respect to training. I'm glad I got to do two metric centuries, and I do really like riding. It's certainly a lot easier on my body than running, but I miss the camaraderie of the track club.

My next goal? To come up with a goal!
Look Ma! No watermark across my body. SDCBC arranged for all of the SD Century riders to get one free photo. This was taken at the top of Three Witches. 


  1. I've learned all of those things a few years ago. I don't work with a trainer anymore though. Kind of wish I did.

  2. I think you should set a goal to do a race in Calgary. Funny about not getting a connection with the bike group. Sometimes the click happens, and sometimes not, for any number of reasons.

    I'd have rolled over on my back like a turtle too, and probably not got up again. I can barely do balance stuff when on a flat surface. Those half bosu balls are the work of the devil.

  3. All good stuff this core stuff. As a new trainer myself I'm forcing myself to do it because as a runner and now triathlete, it REALLY helps and I wasn't doing it...

    AS for not connecting - I know that feeling well. I've never connected with a running club but my triathlon swimming club seems to work - so far?

  4. It's great that you're enjoying your trainer that much that you signed up for more! Most of my clients run like hell after one of my workouts! Kidding of course!!!

    When I'm on the trails hiking and come across a turtle, I will never look at it the same!

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