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 – 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!