100 Day Challenge – Days 15, 16, and 17

I got a little busy over the last few days and I haven’t had a working computer, so blogging got pushed to the bottom of the priority queue. But fear not, I have kept up with my challenge! On Tuesday (Day 15), I decided to get going on the bike part of my lazy triathlon. I hopped on a stationary bike at the Y and got going. Like pretty much all of the aerobic workout machines there, the bike has a heart rate sensor and you can also set a program for your workout (from some presets or manually). I chose “Fat Burning” like I usually do for other machines because it is a good combination of equal parts hard and easy lengths (and I have a lot of fat to burn). This bike worked a little differently than the elliptical, AMT, and treadmill I was familiar with, though. It wanted a constant heartbeat signal, which was ok because the sensor was right where I would probably have put my hands anyway. Then it used my heart rate to figure out how long to warm me up and what resistance level to set during the hard and easy intervals. It was actually pretty slick! I managed 5.5 miles in about 30 minutes–not too bad for someone who hasn’t done any serious bike riding for many many years.

Of course, I paid for it the next day (Day 16). I had noticed that my quads were pretty tired at the end of the bike workout, but they were not at all sore the following morning. I figured I was in the clear there and didn’t really even think about it before starting my workout that morning. I decided to give the AMT machine another try after having read up on it a bit. I couldn’t even really make it through setting up my workout parameters due to severely protesting quadriceps! I pushed it for as long as I could (about 3 minutes) and then waved the white flag and moved on to a treadmill. I ended up taking it somewhat easy, running about 1.75 miles and then walking about 0.25, for a total of 2 miles.

I did not get up at 5 am today to go to the gym. I’ve been shorting myself on sleep more and more over the last week or so and it all hit me last night. I didn’t get to bed until after midnight and the thought of the 5 am alarm was just too cruel to contemplate. However, I headed out right after my wife got back from work. Today (Day 17), I kind of thought about trying the AMT again, but the memory of yesterday morning was still a little too fresh. I tried a new machine called a crossramp. I thought it was just another kind of elliptical when I chose it, but it isn’t exactly. The leg motion is more or less the same, but there are no arm parts. Also, in addition to adjusting the resistance, you can adjust the incline. That makes a little outline of a runner on the control panel get lights in different parts of his legs and butt, depending on which muscles the current incline works the most. The Fat Burner preset on this machine kept a steady resistance at whatever level you set it at, but went from a gentle incline for the easy intervals (all lights on) to a pretty steep incline for the hard parts (only the quads and glutes lights on). This gave the workout a different feel that I really liked. This might be my new go-to “running” machine. I did 2.3 miles on it over 33 minutes and felt really good at the end.

The other thing I started today was figuring out about the swimming component of the lazy triathlon. I’ve never swum for fitness reasons before, so I didn’t even have an idea about what to do in a lap lane or what gear I might need. After reviewing several fitness sites on the ole Information Superhighway, I now feel like I will be able to mostly avoid embarrassing breaches of swimmer etiquette when I start doing some laps. However, I also learned that my comfy swim trunks are probably not the best thing to wear for laps and I will almost certainly need goggles to avoid crazily swerving all over the pool and crashing into the wall. Hopefully I can pick up some sort of snugger suit and some goggles for not too much money over the weekend. Then next week I can try something totally new!

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