Monday, April 30, 2012

PT Phone Home

I haven’t been to the gym in quite a while. Joe the Trainer selfishly abandoned all his clients to become a medic in the United States Army (really? that’s more rewarding than watching me fall off a balance ball?) And the gym just isn’t fun without someone there yelling at you.

But I figured I should start up again. So I went back and asked to renew my membership. A rather wide but friendly gentleman assisted me. I told him my situation and asked if he knew Joe the Trainer. He did not, but told me “If you’re interested in PT we’re running an incredible deal... three sessions for 99 dollars.” I thought it was a little weird how he kept calling it “PT” - a little too hip for me. But I told him “that is a really good deal, I’ll take you up on that.”

Wide Guy continued “yeah, you get three half-hours of PT for 99 bucks...” I stopped him there. “Hang on a sec... Thirty minute sessions? That’s actually not a very good deal.” He asked me “well, what does that come up to as an hourly rate? I mean, how would you even divide that?”

“Oh, my steroid-loving friend, let me explain it to you.” (OK, I didn’t really say that, and he wasn’t THAT huge, but come on... seriously?) I told him “that’s 66 dollars an hour.” He looked at me puzzled and said “wow, that’s not very good at all! I don’t know why they’d even do a deal like that.”

Now the thing is, it’s not a terrible rate. It’s more than I paid Joe the Trainer, but I know other trainers charge $75-$100 or more per hour. It’s just not a good promotional rate. Last time I renewed my membership, they offered me four PT sessions - for free. THAT’S what a promotional deal is supposed to be. Also, I would rather pay extra money and get a full one-hour session than these mini-workouts. It’s going to take me more than 30 minutes to explain all of my workout neuroses to a new trainer so the half-hour sessions are a waste.

Regardless, I have to get in better shape before I get a trainer to get me in shape. No sense in me (overly) embarrassing myself.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Going Off the Pill

You may recall I had some problems with my foot: 5 months of pain, got some X-rays, found microfractures, put on anti-inflammatories. The pills seemed to help a lot. When I took my medication regularly, the pain was gone. On days that I forgot to take a pill, my foot would start to hurt a little bit after a few hours. So they were definitely doing something good. There was one side effect though- the pills made me a bit nauseous. A couple times I ran to the bathroom thinking I was going to throw up, but nothing ever came up. Small price to pay.

I ran out of pills a few days ago, so that should mean I'm healed, right? I went a day and felt pretty good. By the second day I thought I might have felt a little pain, but I wasn't sure if it was just psychosemantic... psychosomet... all in my head. On day 3 I was definitely feeling something; nothing as bad as it had been, but something. I refilled the prescription and am going to try one pill per day rather than the usual two for a little while.

Since my foot was feeling (mostly) better I decided I had no excuse not to be running again. Sunday afternoon was a nice cool day, and a great time to get back outdoors. I put on my running shorts, my shirt, and my sneakers. I lubed up nice and good with body glide. I packed a bag with a towel, dry shirt, and bottle of Gatorade. I was set to go, and then I couldn't find my iPod. I am not one of those people who needs constant external stimulation in my life, and I've done plenty of runs without music. But for some reason I just got really frustrated that my plan wasn't coming together so I just stayed home.

Since then I have found my iPod (in the trunk of my car) so now I'm REALLY ready to go. Well assuming the iPod battery is charged.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


For many years, I wore size 34 pants. It was a constant, like death and taxes and Oreos. But then I joined the Disney Tri Team and my pants starting getting looser. I had to buy size 33s.

Then I started training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene and I dropped down to 32. The next year it was Wisconsin: 31. Finally, when I did Kona I was wearing 30" waistline pants. (Frankly, I was told after the fact that I didn't look very healthy at 30, but I was fast!)

This meant I had a ton of clothes lying around that didn't fit me anymore. I decided to make room in the closet by donating some of my old pants. I realized that there was no way I was going to maintain the size 30 after Kona so I wasn't about to get rid of ALL my ill-fitted pants. But I figured it was safe to at least get rid of the 34s. I donated all of my big-boy clothes.

Well, a funny thing happens when you stop Ironman training. The 30 waist became a 31. Which became a 32. Which became a 33. And finally a 34. And recently I had to go back and buy pants to replace the ones I donated (no, I did not return to the Salvation Army to get the exact pairs back.)

I think at this point my largest inventory of pants are the 32s, so I should try to get back to that range. The weather is warming up and my foot is recovering (more on that in next entry) and I should be able to start running again.

Now in terms of not eating Oreos and Peanut Butter Cups... Let's just take things one step at a time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Survey Says...

I received a survey in the mail from Runner's World. It was long - like long-form census size - and had tiny fonts that my old-man eyes had trouble reading. But they sent two dollars with it: yes, two crisp brand-new dollar bills were in the envelope. Well I love free money so I gladly filled out the survey.

I tend to overthink things, but as I was answering some of the questions I didn't like the way I was being portrayed. For example, they asked a lot of questions about trail running. 98% of my running is done on trails, but I don't consider myself a "trail runner". Trail runners climb hills and hop rocks and fallen trees. I do some of that on rare occasions, but most of my trails are flat horse paths. It's not a road, it's not a track, it's not a treadmill: When asked where I run, I had to put "trail". (oh and the reason I don't want to be classified as a trail-runner is that they're all just a bunch of hippies.)

Many of the questions involved how you shop for shoes and other running gear, but some of the questions were a little weird:

Which best describes how comfortable you are with going into a store and asking about a sports bra fitting?

1 Not At All Comfortable - 5 Very Comfortable

My first reaction was that I'm probably a 1, but I just decided to leave that question blank.

I'm also not sure I was their target audience for some of the nutrition questions:

How often do you snack (by snacking, we mean any food consumed outside of breakfast, lunch or dinner)?

1-2 times per week
3-4 times per week
5-6 times per week
7 or more times per week
Do not snack

So I guess 5-6 times... Wait a minute, per WEEK? I thought it said per DAY. And when I snack, I SNACK. I don't think grabbing some celery sticks between meals should count as a snack. And who are these liars who check the box "Do not snack"? Puh-lease.

So don't be surprised if you start seeing Oreos being sold in running stores as a result of my survey answers. You're welcome.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wedgie Water

I volunteered at a water stop for the Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Although it was well-organized, it got me thinking about how I would put together a support site. I doubt the wimpy marathon organizers would let me do it, but this is how I envision a Wedgie Water Waystation:

1. No rain. I won't allow it.

2. Music music music. I'd love to have a live band, but that might not be practical. So we'll have a boom box blasting tunes. All radical 80s stuff.

3. A skeleton crew will stay in place for most if not all of the racers to come through. Everyone on the course has their own personal goal. If they're just trying to finish, we'll be out there to support them.

4. My water stop would have some sort of theme, whether it's pirates or mardi gras or bunnies. Volunteers will be required to dress up. If they do not show up with their own costume, they will be given a funny hat or bunny slippers or something else to wear.

5. I would set up rope barriers for the water-giver-outers. One of my biggest frustrations is watching volunteers constantly creeping out into the race course. I know they're exited to have someone take their cup, but they actually just get in the way. Stay behind the velvet ropes, the runners will come to you.

6. All volunteers must show proof of completion for some race - any distance. People don't realize how difficult it is to grab a cup of water out of someone's hand while running by with a bunch of kids wandering in the way. I want my volunteers to understand what the racers are going through.

7. Separate cell-phone chute. If you want to listen to your iPod during the race, fine. But don't spend the race yapping away on your phone. Not on my watch. Anyone talking on a phone would be redirected away from the water and snacks - they can get some in the next mile.

The volunteers would hate me, but the racers would definitely appreciate my efforts. Who wants to sign up?