100 Day Challenge – Day 49

Wow, it’s been about 2 weeks since I blogged. I actually have a lot to report, I’ve just been too busy lazy to write it down. First, I finished my Lazy Triathlon last week. I biked over 60 miles, ran over 20 miles, and swam exactly 2 miles. I feel like this was a pretty good accomplishment for someone who hadn’t done any regular exercise up until a month and a half ago. My next goal is to get into shape to run a 5K race this spring and not completely embarrass myself. I’ve done a couple of 3ish mile runs on the treadmill over the last week, so I know I can at least finish. My speed … well, let’s just say it could use some work. I’m seriously considering entering three 5Ks this season that are at a brewery, a vineyard, and a cidery (sp?). The little trophies for participating are kind of cute and you get a cool metal rack to display them if you do all 3. The info about the series is here if you’re interested!

I have also acquired some swimming goggles so that I can do strokes that don’t keep my face out of the water. The good news is that the goggles were inexpensive, but work great. No leaks, no fog, they stay firmly attached to my face. The bad news is that I have greatly overestimated my ability to swim laps with a crawl stroke. I made it through 5 laps this morning by resting for a moment in between each lap. I really should have stopped after 4, as I felt super crappy for hours afterward and my arms are still feeling a bit weak now, about 16 hours later. I think it will get better quickly if I keep at it. It seems like a lot of my overexertion was form- and breathing-related and those things are a matter of practice.

I also missed my first day yesterday. I just plain forgot to find something to do before bed. I decided that I could count this morning’s swim for yesterday if I did something else later today. I ended up doing something called a “basic plank”. It’s kind of hard to describe, but it basically involves holding your body rigid as you bear your weight on your elbows (which are directly below your shoulders) and your feet. Hold that for ~15 seconds for as many reps and sets as you can handle. I got 2 sets of 5.

There is a bit more to say, but it can wait for tomorrow. I am exhausted!

100 Day Challenge – Days 33, 34, and 35

I’ve been super busy the last few days–too busy to blog, but not too busy to exercise! On Wednesday, I swam 0.25 miles (9 laps at the Y pool) and today I swam 10 laps! I can feel myself getting stronger with every swim. I would have gone 9 or 10 laps yesterday too, but I was too tired to get up early and the kids kept me on my toes for the rest of the day. I had a Kiwanis-related meeting in the evening, so the only exercise I could really fit in was 30 push-ups right before bed. Still, I couldn’t do more than about 20 a week ago: progress!

I know it’s silly, but after I do a swim workout (even my short little workout) I feel really superior to all those guys in the locker room who don’t have wet hair and wet shorts. “Oh, sure, jogging or playing basketball is a fine workout. In fact, I used to be just like you guys! But now I’m a swimmer.” Heh.

100 Day Challenge – Day 32

First of all, I somehow forgot how to count back in mid-January. Luckily, I just remembered and today’s post has the right title. Just so that it is written down somewhere (until I figure out a better way to organize it), Day 1 was January 11, 2014.

Also, I have not blogged in several days, maybe a week. But fear not, I have not missed a day yet! Last Friday I swam laps for the first time in my life. I made it a quarter mile of sidestroke before I was worn out. It turns out that even an “easy” stroke is kind of a lot of work when you’re just going and going and going. The sidestroke also uses some muscles on my sides between my rib cage and pelvis that I apparently don’t use for anything else. It took me all of half a lap to figure out that I would have to switch sides back and forth to even out the wear.

Also on Friday, I contracted some sort of stomach flu. It wasn’t as bad for me as it was for my wife and sons when they had it, but it was bad enough. It only lasted 2 days including Friday, so it didn’t make me miss a 100 Day Challenge day. On Saturday, I did 2 sets of 10 pushups. I haven’t done pushups in years, probably.

Today I went to the gym in the evening because I literally forgot to leave the house this morning. I was just sitting there, eating toast and listening to a podcast, and then it was too late to get there, work out, and get home. When I finally made it in, I pedaled like zombies were on my tail (the pool was full of swimming lessons instead of lap lanes). At least, I thought I was going really hard. I set the resistance intervals to be 4 minutes hard and 2 minutes easy, but I didn’t get any significant extra distance or calorie burn according to the bike’s computer. I felt like I was getting a higher level of workout, though. Weird.

Finally, I have a Lazy Triathlon update! After today’s biking, here are my totals:

Run/walk: 21.1 miles (20 miles required)
Bike: 54.9 miles (60 miles required)
Swim: 0.25 miles (2 miles required)

It will take some focus to get all that swimming in by February 23, but it is totally doable. I’ll probably swim a quarter mile per day for the next 3 days and 4 out of 5 weekdays next week. The fifth day will be the last little bit of biking. That gives me some cushion in the weekends to make up for lost time or get ahead. It’s kind of blowing my mind that I’ll have done this whole lazy triathlon thing, but I won’t even be halfway done with the challenge! I’ll have to think of another way to focus my workouts after the triathlon is over….

100 Day Challenge – Day 30

I had to do a short workout tonight as my lovely bride is recovering from some bad tacos she ate yesterday. She was in no condition to wrangle a 2-year-old who decided not to nap this afternoon and a 5-month-old who needs near-constant attention when he’s awake! I ended up doing 25 minutes on the bike—6 miles—and actually finding that I had to work for it. I think I have inadvertently done too many days in a row targeting my quads. Tomorrow I’m thinking a relatively easy jog on the treadmill to kind of even things out.

100 Day Challenge – Days 28 and 29

Monday (Day 28), I got back on the stationary bike. I adjusted the seat down to shift my weight back further on my hips and hopefully make some use of all the padding I have back there. It seems to have worked. My butt was still a little sore after 8 miles or so, but it felt more like a body part that needs to toughen through experience rather than a bruised butt-bone.

Yesterday (Day 29), I used the crossramp machine. I really pushed myself and got in about 2.6 miles of “running”. I’ve started keeping a running tally of my Lazy Triathlon progress as I realized I’m probably getting close to the right amount of running and coming right along biking. As of February 4, I have 0/2 miles swimming, 31.7/60 miles biking, and 18.9/20 miles running/walking. Not too shabby! I just need to get about 28 miles of biking, 1 mile of running and 2 miles of swimming in by February 23!

On an unrelated note, I’m sure that I am starting to look pretty crazy when I’m exercising. I’ve found my “zone”, where I feel like I’m getting a good workout, but not killing myself, and I get pretty sweaty. Actually, I get really sweaty. Like it’s dripping off me starting about 5-7 minutes into the workout. By the end, my shirt is pretty well soaked and I need a couple of paper towels to mop off my face. Anyway, I hope I’m not weirding out the other exercisers who sweat normal human amounts.

100 Day Challenge – Day 26

I decided to take it a bit easy today. It is the weekend, after all. I went to the gym and got on a treadmill. I decided to continue experimenting with 2 minute intervals and set the treadmill for 3.5 mph with 0° incline for the easy intervals and 4 mph with 3° incline for the hard intervals. This was actually a bit harder than I meant to do for an easy day, but it worked out pretty well anyway. Toward the end, I just really wanted to go sit down for a good long while, which I think is a message from my body that I need to take it even easier tomorrow.