Monday, December 24, 2012

In Which I Am An Idiot

distance- approx. 2.3mi
time- ?

Allow me to set the stage, my friends. First, you need to loosen your neck muscles. I don't want you to strain yourselves when you start shaking your head at me. Next warm-up your jaw. You may pull something as it drops to your chest.
I live just under a mile from the gym up a very steep hill. While my knee is giving me trouble I don't run up the hill. Instead I hop on my mountain bike and ride up the hill, then lock the bike at the gym and run from there, where it is more level and knee-friendly. I have the smallest version of my stuff in a little arm pouch, my Garmin on my wrist, and the bike lock wrapped around the cross bar of the bike.
When I get to the gym (your neck and jaw should be ready now), I turn on my Garmin and take it off. I take it off because it finds the satellite signal better when it isn't moving. So I take it off and I put it right behind my foot. Right behind me. Then I go about the business of locking up my bike. So I put my three hundred dollar watch on the ground and turn my back on it.
Guess what happened yesterday. Betcha can. Betcha can't believe it.
Turned around after locking the bike, went to pick up my watch. No watch. Gone. Empty sidewalk. Nothing there. I do the thing we all would do. Grab my wrist. Did I put it back on? No. My shorts have no pockets but I check them anyway. I look all over. There are some people walking by, but no one is acting like they just pulled off a sucker theft. I search the surrounding sidewalk in case the watch somehow moved itself. I run into the gym and ask if anyone turned in a watch they found on the sidewalk (hey, it could happen). No. Course not. It couldn't happen.
The surprising thing is I didn't tweak out. I thought I was going to, but there was no rush of anger. Just disappointment and frustration. This was totally my fault. I was stupid to put it on the ground and then turn away. Is it amazingly bold of someone to steal something from right behind me? Yeah. But I might as well have hung a sign on my back that read SUCKER.
I still went for my run. What else could I do at that point? And it was a good run. No pain. Not fast but not painful, so that counts. I muttered to myself for most of it.
Went home and emailed Garmin, asking if they can track it using the GPS. They say it isn't set up for that but to not take the registration off my Garmin profile so no one else can register it. So now I'm keeping an eye on craigslist hoping the thief will try to fence it. But that's my only option.
I'll buy myself another one. My awesome sponsor who I forgot to thank after the Christmas Biathlon (my bad, but there was a lot going on) has been helping me out and I think I have enough saved up to cover most if not all of a replacement. Big thanks again to Background Profiles. Please check them out.
Trying not to be too hard on myself, but this was a big Doi! common sense vacuum moment as far as I'm concerned. Also trying not to be too Fuck Everyone Ever because that doesn't help either and I don't need that negativity around Roland.
In fact, let's close with a Christmasy picture of him so we don't end on a downer.
Happy holidays from Dirtbag Fitness.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reasons Aren't Excuses

23 minutes

I did not run far today, and I did not do it fast. I was sucking wind by the halfway point and my inner knee started to give me trouble around then too. There's a slight climb early in the course that destroyed my pace. My form felt wonky.
And I should not be frustrated by any of that.
The last time I ran was 19 days ago, during the Christmas Biathlon. That day my son was born. I've worked out maybe twice since. I've been busy doing other things like learning about the new human in my house. So there has been quite a lot of sitting on my ass. There has been too much snacking.
Of course my run sucked. Garbage in, garbage out.
I'm in the unique, for me, position of trying not to be frustrated and put off by bad performance and by a feeling of high effort/poor result. Getting back into the groove after time off is always hard and I haven't seriously workout out since the Honu. Of course, the Honu seriously fucked up what my internal version of "serious workouts" are, so maybe that's not true. Either way, I don't feel fit right now, and I know it is going to take a lot of work to get back to what I consider baseline fitness. I think I might register for the next two events in the Biathlon Series. There's one in two weeks and one at the start of February. Maybe having those, plus the Warrior Dash, will help me get up and get moving.
But right now I'm interested in staying positive and trying to get back into a regular workout schedule. The hardest part of working out is putting on your shoes. I see the mountain. I've been up it before. I just need to put on my shoes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Confessions of an Active Parent-To-Be has just posted another article from your favorite Dirtbag. It dates itself right away, but that's ok. Confessions of an Active Parent is a series I plan on semi-regularly running. As in, when I have time and energy and something to write about. Please check it out.
Confessions of an Active Parent-to-Be

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Biathlon Race Report

This was an impulse race for fun. I have been feeling like I hadn't raced in a long time and once you get used to doing something like that you need to keep doing it. I'm addicted to racing. Which is funny when you think about how nervous my stomach gets before even the smallest and easiest of races.
So, even though training had been slim I decided to fork over some dough and knock out the Waikiki Swim Club's Christmas Biathlon, a 5km run/1km swim low pressure fun event. Anyone can run 5km, and doing the swim after the run for once sounds like a great idea. Then I can make up time on all the damn runners who can't swim. No surprise this event was thought up and hosted by a Swim Club.
The other reason for doing the event was Super Awesome Wife was due on the 11th of Decemeber. This might be my last chance to race for a while. Please keep the above date in mind for later.
Hanging around before the race was fun because I meant a person I knew only from the internet who was doing her first multi-sport event (and who placed in her age group!), a guy I meant at the swim meet and open water swim I did over the summer, and Team Bloody Mary (now Team Tri-Rita), who are at nearly every event hosted on the island. All great people, all really nice to see.
Tim swims and Anne run and neither care about racing. Good people
The race started with a 5km run around Ala Moana Beach Park. I purposely did not bring a watch of any kind to reinforce the idea that this was only for fun. Time didn't matter. Of course I had a goal time in mind, I know about what I can do a 5km in and what I can swim 1000m in, but I wasn't planning on sweating it. Haven't been running enough to sweat it. In fact, I was unsure of just how my knee would tolerate the race. Would it tweak and I'd hobble around for three miles? Would I get to run a fraction of it?
Turns out I ran the whole thing, went out a little too fast at the top and paid for it at the end, but overall a nearly pain-free experience. Well, knee pain free. You can't not run at all and then try/not try to race three miles without some pain. But that's more of a Bad Training Dumbass pain.
One thing I spent time thinking about was transition from the run to the swim. You never go in that direction. I needed to put a cap on, and I wasn't about to wear one on the run. So what to do? Stop and put it on? Do it while running? I went with the latter, tucking my goggles and cap into the waistband of my suit. And with about 100 yards to transition I took off my visor and glasses and popped the cap and goggles on without breaking stride. Easier than I thought. Then all I had to do was take off my shoes and drop the visor and shades and into the water I went.
The run-to-swim transition wasn't too bad. Slowing down to take off the shoes helped the heart rate adjust. The hardest part was pulling all the blood out of my legs and into my arms and shoulders. I'm not happy with how my swim went. It's not really fair because I haven't been swimming too much either, but expectations are high. There was no rhythm or smoothness in it. I just got it done. Was able to do decently compared to most of the other racers, but not what I wanted. It is fun to do my strength at the end of a race for once. Meant I got to swim from person to person. I'll catch you, now I'll catch you, now I'll catch you. That's a nice change.
The return was directly into the rising sun, making sighting difficult. I basically swam towards the sun. I sighted by blindness. Where can't I see? I'll go there. Which meant I didn't see the exit buoys until I was almost on top of them. Think I went in a straight line. Normally do.
Pro Tip for multi-sport athletes (and I know a lot of you need this): Swim as far in as you can. Seriously, until your hands scrape the sand. Because if you pop up too early then you're trying to run in hip deep water. That's slow. Swim until you're scraping bottom then when you pop up your in shin deep water and you can easily high-step out.
Run- 27:31
Swim- 20:16
Finish- 47:47
Age Group- 5th
Overall- 37th
47 second off my very own mug!

 Any normal day that would have been the big event. But when I got home Super Awesome Wife had a much more important event warming up. You can read all about it here.Want a hint? I wrote most of this post like this-