Friday, December 28, 2012

Salt in the Wounds

When I did Kona, I went through Endurance Sports Travel - our tri team has booked dozens of race trips through them. It's a great company run by Ken Glah, who has raced Kona 29 times. Ken is awesome, and he has a great team working for him (I  Stacy).

Sunday morning, the day after I finished Kona, I was hanging out in front of the hotel chatting with Ken. Some vendor who knew Ken and worked for a salt-lick company or something came over to chat with us. Ken introduced me, "this is Mike, he's with us this year." The vendor asked, "Oh, he's working for you?" "No, he did the race."

(pause) "He's an...athlete?"

Why yes, I'm an athlete thank you very much. Here it was, about 12 hours after completing the greatest physical challenge I will ever do in my life, and this schmuck couldn't even recognize me as an athlete. He could have at least tried to mask his surprise.

Luckily for him, 5 minutes later I couldn't remember the name of his company. I would have been bad-mouthing them for years after that.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Going to the dogs

I still haven't finished my Christmas shopping, so during lunch today I stopped by Petco to pick up some doggie treats. When what to my wandering eyes should appear but David, the guy who worked the front desk at Burbank Athletic Club and who renewed my membership. I used to see him all the time, and now apparently he is working at Petco.

I have not been to the gym in probably 8 months, but I figured that if David was working at Petco he wouldn't know that, right? I tried to be real casual about it, "hey, haven't seen you in a while... you're working here now?" He said "I work here during the days, then back at the gym in the evening."

Crap. Busted.

I collapsed like a house of cards, confessing that I hadn't been to the gym in months but that I was still doing my runs in Griffith Park (what, like he'd know?) He just laughed and said the new year is a great time to come back. No, that's the WORST time to come back because it's packed and I told him so.

David asked if I had heard from Joe The Trainer. (JTT selfishly decided that becoming a medic in the army and going to Afghanistan to make the world safe for democracy was more important than me doing proper form with my lunges.) I told him that without Joe, it was tough staying motivated at the gym. David said that I should get in touch with "Andrea", who is HIS trainer at the gym, and kicks his ass every week.

The thing is, I don't really want my ass kicked. At this point, I'm happy just to do a little workout and have someone say "good job",  pat me on the head, and hand me a cookie. Besides, Andrea sounds mean.

So now I'm afraid to go to Petco again until David sees me at the gym. Or maybe I could drive by the gym first, see if David is working there and then I'll know it's safe to go to Petco. Yeah, that'll work.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Does a dog S#!& in the woods?

It's Christmas, and I went for a run.

I have not run in several weeks, probably over a month. And I spent those weeks eating holiday cookies and candies. I figured I would do a 3-mile run to start getting back into the swing of things. There is a vey specific 5k distance I do in Griffith Park all the time: I park at the Zoo, get on the horse trail, do a loop around the golf course and come back. 3.1 miles. But today the Zoo parking lot was completely locked up. Stupid Christmas. I had to go to another parking area a half mile down the road.

I have tons of milestones around Griffith that I know the distances between that I can mix and match to generate just about any distance. But from this particular starting point, I could only do 4 miles. I don't run with a GPS, so I couldn't simply go 1.5 miles and turn around. Fine, I did the 4. 

It was cold. 53 degrees when I left, and I was out of practice on how to dress for cold-weather running. I definitely could have used an extra layer. I did OK for the first 3 miles or so but then my knee started hurting. It's been a while since I've been running, but I remembered something about "listening to your body." I think it was, if your knee hurts, it's because the muscles around it are too tight and they need to loosen up and you can loosen them up by running. So I just kept on going. Probably a bad call, because it's still hurting a little bit.

Anyway, during the run on the trail I saw a woman walking her dog. It was maybe part chihuahua part poodle - a chihoodle? I don't know, it was small and white. The dog did its business, and the woman picked it up in a doggie baggie. I stopped and told her "it's very nice that you're cleaning up after your dog, thank you, but this is a horse trail. We have horses coming through here making messes a whole lot bigger than what your dog is doing so I don't think you need to worry about cleaning up. But thank you." Because, seriously... those rabbit pallets her dog was dropping are NOTHING compared to the land mines we dodge all the time on the trail. Still, nice to know people try to be conscientious about their pets.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Weight Is Not Over

I've never followed a "typical" triathlete diet. I drink a lot of Mtn. Dew and I am not afraid to eat a cookie or two or ten. When you're swimming/biking/running 6 days a week, it basically doesn't matter what you eat - it just gets burned away. (Yeah yeah, I know.... sugars and fats blah blah blah.)

I did however crash-diet right before my first two Ironman races. That was not a good idea. I did #3, Kona, about 10 pounds heavier than the other two and that was a much better race weight for me. Still probably a little light for a normal weight, but not too unhealthy.

After Kona, I was basically "done". I felt very deserving of a break so I did very little training afterwards. I also made very little changes to my diet. And a funny thing happened: I started gaining weight. When those cookies aren't being burnt off, they just sort of stick around. I did not weigh myself regularly for a while, but I maxed out at about 25 pounds heavier than my Kona weight (which is about 35 pounds heavier than Coeur d'Alene.) I don't think anyone looking at me would say I was "fat" (except maybe Robert), but yes... there was a lot more Wedgie to go around.

Finally, back in May I decided I needed to start losing weight and I began weighing myself every Monday morning:

I have been very, vey diligent with stepping on the scale every week and recording the data. Unfortunately, I have not been very good with actually doing anything ABOUT the data. Have I stopped eating cookies? No. Have I started running regularly? No. I'm in that phase where I don't feel I'm in good enough shape to start working out. If I could just get down to Kona+15 again, then I think I would be ready to start exercising.

It will happen. Now if you'll excuse me, there are some Christmas Chocolates in the office that need my attention.