Monday, February 21, 2011

Revenge of the trainer

My indoor trainer - Oh how I hate riding on the trainer.

I know it is good for technique and you can get a good work out on the trainer while staying warm and dry in doors during the bad winter months.  Your bike stays clean, you can catch up on all your TV shows, watch movies and are safe from erratic drivers. 

But I still hate riding on the trainer.  Quite frankly I would rather poke myself in the eye with a pencil.  Thankfully living on the wet coast we have mild winters and generally can ride all year long with the exception of a couple of weeks usually in January. 

I honestly would rather ride outside in the cold and rain then on the trainier.  And have done so but as of late the girls have been riding in spin class at Coach B's new spin studio - I did not plan on going but a few weeks ago I took a small tumble down a flight of stairs at work and so part of the rehab was spin class (groan....). 

So I signed up for 5 classes figuring the weather would warm up pretty quick and everyone would jump outside.  THe classes are good but I still don't like them.  I tolerate them - so the last spin class I set up my bike on the trainer.  The trainer I had was a little hard to tighten but I tested it and all seemed well.

We got in to the zone and I was grudginly starting to enjoy myself.  My leg/hip was holding up pretty good and I was able to keep high cadences and maintain my heart rate zones.  There was about a 5 minutes left in the class when we were doing one last high cadence spin out.  I was in the drops legs flying when it happened.  The trainer got me - my back wheel came out and all the sudden I was going down.  It happened so quickly there was nothing I could do and to make matters worse I took out Judith!

Yes you read it right - I crashed in spin class and I took out other riders!   BAHHHAHHAHHAHHAH  Top THAT!  I mean have you ever heard anything so ridiculous?  You have to laugh - thankfully a quick visit to the chiro put my hip back in, the chain marks on leg are almost heeled.  My back wheel did not fair so well - you should have heard them at the bike shop when I explained what happened and why I need a new rear wheel .  I gave those boys something to talk about for the rest of the week.

Needless to say I hate spin class and the trainer even more now.  It is just not natural!   Once Isis gets her new back wheel which should be any day now me and her are returning to the great outdoors. 

Especially since the boys are planning on setting up a webcam in the studio.  The last thing I need is to be on You tube and go viral.  

Anyways I am pretty sure that I will be placed at the back of the class seperate from all and Coach B will check my trainer. Think I will take my helmet next time, oh and maybe some pillows - Safety First.

Peace out

Shaun

Monday, February 14, 2011

Maybe I can swim

So when I was preparing for Ironman one of the things I did was take an open-water clinic to help me calm down in open water.  The course was with a gentleman named Peter - aka seahiker.com.

My riding buddies Judith and Cindy swore by him and I knew I needed help with calming down in open water.  It was kind of ridiculous the panic attacks I would have every single time.  So I signed up.

It did work - I calmed down and was able to get through each swim without the usual 3 minute panic attack at the start.  I was still as slow as molasses but at least I was calm. 

I have been told a zillion times swimming is all about technique - blah, blah, blah and I have worked and worked on it.  I have done or at least I thought I was doing what everyone was telling me and was just frustrated.  Seriously - super frustrated - so frustrated that I started not wanting to swim because I was so tired of well sucking at it.  It seemed no matter how often I swam or how much I worked at it I just could not get faster.   I used to joke that I had one speed - I could swim forever but only at one speed.  It got to the point where last year I just stopped swimming period.  I was not registered for any triathlons and well I was tired of no changes and being passed by absolutely everyone.  It was getting old and I was fed up.  So I did the only reasonable thing I stopped swimming. 

This year I decided it was time to get back into doing a few tri's and that meant getting back into the pool. yeah...  To say I was less than thrilled would be the understatement of the year.  Once again Judith to the rescue - we started talking about it and she was like why don't you come and swim in Peter's clinic and work on technique.    I was skeptical - seriously - like I have not been down this road a zillion times before - but she was persistant and he did help me with my open water swimming so I decided what the heck.  I

He keeps it pretty basic - he focuses on relazing first and then breaks the stroke down to the very basics.    I took to heart what he said and how he explained it and then set to put it in practice.  Skeptical but optimistic.  We did a time trial 2 weeks in and well shockingly guess who was at the back again - yep me.  Peter was great though he was like just work on the technique, he broke it down even more for me, he said be patient - he was like say this in your head " not now, not now, now; not now, not now, now"  So I went and practiced it on my own.  It has been 4 weeks now and I feel better in the water and he said I was faster but I was still skeptical. 

So Yesterday I went to the pool to work on my homework and decided to time myself on 1000 metres non-stop. Just to see if I had gotten back to where I normally am which is between 28 - 30 minutes.  I mean it had been a year.  Well I did it, was not tired and time.......23min 58 seconds!!!! OMG - are you kidding me?  WAAAHHOOOOOOO  Okay so I am not going to win a gold medal or anything any time soon but this is huge!  I can't believe that after all this time - just some simple visualizations and breaking the stroke down to basics and I already improved that much. 

Now I am super excited for the next session to see what I need to do now.  I can not believe that after all this time I have finally had the breakthrough.  Now I need to keep it quiet from the BOY.  I need him to think that I as super duper slow as usual - lull him into a feeling of complacency. 

I might just have a fighting chance.

Peace out Shaun

Monday, February 7, 2011

The breezes of freedom

I always train with a ball cap - always.  People who train with me have a hard time recognizing me when I am in my civvies because I am not wearing a cap.

I love ball caps and have worn them religiously since I was 9 and started playing softball.  I have more caps then my husband and I treasure each one.  Some get worn more than others - some are just for running, some are for post running and then there are my dressy ones that I wear when walking the dog or going grocery shopping.  Yep I love ball caps - if I could figure out how to wear one at work I probably would.

One of the things I love about riding is feeling the breeze as you ride - remember when you could feel the breeze in your hair as zoomed along the street.  Breeze not some brutal stupid head wind but breeze.  To me that was freedom.  I love jumping on my bike as a kid as soon as I could and riding, feeling the breeze on my skin and through my hair.  No worries, no parents, no rotten little sister.  Just me and my bike.  It was the same way I felt when I ran as a kid - remember just running around the soccer field and feeling the wind - okay maybe not wind - I was never that fast but breeze through your hair as it flowed behind you.  Well now a days for safety you have to wear a helmet on the bike so you can't get the total sensation but if I stop wearing the ball caps I could. 

So I  took of my ball cap and left it behind and went for a run.  And you know what I love it - it reminded me of those cross-country runs in elementary school.  The mass starts where we raced a cross the school field and on to some trail or path.  It just felt so great to have my hair flowing around me and then I found myself grinning like a fool as I veered off the sidewalk by a school and ran through the middle of the school field to a trail I had spotted on the other side.  I flashed into those childhood memories and thought  - there it is - Freedom. 

Try it take your hat/viser off and go for a run - I promise you it will be a great feeling.  For me unless it is pooring rain I am going to try and do all my runs hat free.  I need that feeling of the breeze and freedom.

Peace out
Shaun