Saturday, January 30, 2010

Equipment Update, Winter Behavior and Irrational Fears

The weather has not cooperated in months, forcing me to do all my rides indoors. Weekly, I've been meeting my goal of four rides, including one long ride. My long trainer ride is up to three hours (yesterday's workout). I also made a final decision on bike saddle two weeks ago. After a few more rides on the three saddles, I realized my anatomy needs a cut-out more than cushiness on my sit-bones -- mainly because my newfound comfort in the aero position doesn't impact my sit-bones as much. The Profile Design Air-Stryke was the obvious choice. To my surprise, it was also the least expensive of the three saddles I tested.

Running, on the other hand, has not been as consistent as I had hoped. My plan for the prep phase of Ironman training was to do regular 10- to 20-minute runs after every bike ride. I have been struggling with lack of motivation to run in (and on) snow and ice at 9 pm in temperatures in the teens and 20s after getting off the bike soaked in sweat. I keep telling myself I have plenty of time to get used to the transition, but I'm disappointed in myself nonetheless. To combat the mental block, I bought new trail shoes. Thanks to the Borders Rewards Perks program, I got a pair of New Balance 840s for under $50. They fit perfectly and have monster treads that give a little grip on snow. Sometimes, I just need to jump-start the desire, and it already got me out the door for two runs of 1:15 this week.

And finally, I'm back in the water, swimming at least three times a week. After almost two months off, I'm concentrating on building strength in the water using a pair of old-style rectangular Speedo paddles. I know I'm getting stronger because my arms have that old familiar soreness.

The last component I have yet to add to my training program is the weights. I still don't know how and where it will fit into my schedule, and I'm fighting an irrational fear of weight rooms. Not the weights themselves, but the self-consciousness I feel when I'm using the equipment: Am I doing it right? Is someone going to yell at me? Are people staring at me? I think it stems from my childhood when my swim coach sent us to a Nautilus facility (when Nautilus was "new"). We were "whipped" into submission by muscle-bound arrogant weight-room Nazis who probably polished the equipment after each person used it. The whole trip there, I would cry in the car knowing my every move was going to be scrutinized by a macho mimbo who had nothing better to do than to wield his attitude over a 14-year-old girl. People don't learn by being punished and forced to do three more sets of reps. It made me hate the weight room.

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