Archive | July 2013

I will run this race…I think

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m attempting to run a race August 18. My third in the “Triple Crown” series in Southern California. When I finish, I get an extra medal for doing all three races. That’s three races, four medals. That’s awesome.

Assuming, of course, I can run the race.

This nasty plantar fasciitis has set me back in my training big time. I haven’t run in a month. I can’t. I’ll run a mile and my foot will start giving out. It’s obnoxious and annoying.

And with this particular injury, you just have to stretch and massage and wait for it to get better. It’s broken and needs to heal. And as long as you push it, it won’t heal.

And it’s driving me nuts.

I’m now less than a month away from this race and I am completely out of cardio shape because cardio requires functioning feet.

I’ve tried other options like biking, which I grossly dislike (see my previous blog post). I can’t handle being on the bike for that long. Plus, it makes my butt and hip flexors feel weird. I don’t like it.

I’ve tried elliptical but my foot flares up a little and it doesn’t seem worth it to cause damage to the part I’m trying to heal just to get a mediocre cardio workout in. Plus, I look like a doofus on that thing.

Sure, I could swim. Theoretically. But you try finding a lane open in a pool near a retirement community. Good luck.

I’ve got a d-day set in my mind. August 1. I’m going to go out for a run on August 1. That’s Thursday.

When I do, I’m gonna try and see if I can get 3 miles in. If I can…I’m gonna attempt to run this race after all.

If I can’t… well, I’ll deal with that when we get there.

D-day comes upon us quickly. Wish me luck.

Workout Trainer App

I downloaded it a few weeks ago, but I finally decided to give my “Workouts” app a try. It uploads new free workouts every week and they look pretty decent, so I figured why not.

I chose the ab workout routine. It was 12 minutes. The way it’s supposed to work, is there is a trainer’s voice you choose that coaches you through the workout, and you can refer to the given pictures as a guide as you move through it. It focuses on HIIT training, mostly, with different muscle groups getting blasted for different goals.

Some of the workouts are free and some of them you can upgrade the app and get. There is only one “free” trainer available and her name is Kim. As a stingy person, I wanted to try this product before I spent the extra few dollars to upgrade. So “Kim” and I got to work.

The thing is… “Kim” is a robot. She’s not even as believable sounding as Siri. She sounds like a Sit and Spell from 1996. So when “Kim” is saying “let’s go” and “good work” and “you can do it” and “a positive attitude will help you get through this” as dry as an amateur computer voice program from the early 90s, I can’t help but laugh.

I tried to get through the workout. I really did. I tried to use my excellent imagination to pretend that “Kim” was an actual person, but every time I heard her speak in her completely non-emotional computer way, I keeled over and started cracking up.

I doubt I’ll upgrade the software. It’s a great idea, but I have interval apps available that would do the same trick if I know the routines and moves. It’s a little more work on my part, but at least I know I can get through it without laughing to myself in the corner like an idiot.

And if you go to my gym and saw me in the multipurpose room losing my breath from laughter…that’s what I was listening to. Now you know.

And now you know, too.

Everyone’s so friendly?!

The past two weeks at my gym have been odd. Not  because I have to choose odd exercises to compensate for this hurting foot, though that hasn’t been spectacular.

It’s been odd at my gym because…everyone’s being so nice to each other.

Normally, I’m totally anonymous. And I kinda like it that way. I like being quietly left to my workout so I can lose myself in my breath and my awesome music. I can get oddly anxious about things most people don’t think twice about. If I think someone is watching me, I inherently put on a small show. Whether or not they actually are watching. It’s the performer that comes out. And I love the performer- she’s my favorite version of myself- but she gets a lot of time already in Briana-world. Sometimes, I like to be the quiet, awkward, unfriendly, poorly dressed girl who clearly didn’t brush her hair this morning that’s lifting in the corner while everyone around her swears she’s a lesbian. I like her because she’s totally different than my somewhat put-together, friendly, out-going funny flirty girl. I’m very much both people- just different versions of myself depending on my circumstances.

What does any of this have to do with the people around me being friendlier? Well, if I know them by name and see them often, I could start feeling self-conscious when I’m around them. Because I know them. We’ve had a conversation. I’m expected to be friendly now. I should probably make small talk. At some point, we may talk about what we both do outside the gym. I’ve got to always be sure I wave hello and goodbye if I’m waking by because I’m midwestern and we’re really polite and that’s just what you do with people you know. I can’t just be lost in my own thoughts anymore, I now have to be aware in case someone I know is around.

I’ve seen this one guy several times. He works at the gym. He’s often there when I am. Last week, he smiled at me. Then a few days later, he half waved when he saw me. Then the next time I came in, he scanned my card introduced himself. Now I know his name. And he knows mine. He smiled at me again when I walked out of the locker room and headed to my workout. As I write this, I realize this could sound flirty. It’s not. It’s just friendly. But the point is, he knows me know. And I know him. We’ve got eye contact established. Now I have to be nice to him.

The last time I went to the gym, a new guy was working the desk. When he scanned me in, he made small talk then said “Have a nice workout, Briana” and smiled again. Now I gotta be nice to this guy, too.

It’s confusing. I don’t know if I like it or not. We’ll see.

Maybe it’ll make me workout harder, though, if I think people are watching me.

That is, of course, when my foot starts cooperating again and I can return to my normal routine.

Until then, I drink a Bud Light Lime and I write about working out.

Pent up energy

I’m giving myself a little rest right now. I was headed to the gym this morning but my foot started screaming at me. I decided to take it easy. For once. UUUUGHHHH.

The problem isn’t just that my over-achiever-ness wants to go everything always including pushing my body to the limit. Or that I continue to eat as if I’ve worked out hard at the gym that day. The problem is mainly that at the end of the day, when I go to bed, I have all this pent up energy from not exercising.

I know people would kill to have more energy throughout the day, so maybe this seems like a silly thing to complain about. But I don’t have the energy throughout the day. I have it late at night. And it prevents me from getting a good night’s sleep. Which prevents me from being able to wake up easily in the wee hours of the morning. Which prevents me from getting everything I want to do done. Which usually means I can’t make it to the gym because that’s the first thing on the to do list that typically goes. Well, maybe the second. I don’t do dishes, then I don’t go to the gym.

IT’S A VICIOUS CYCLE.

And to top it off, my foot troubles are giving me even more excuse to give myself a little rest. But my body is wondering why there is so much leftover energy every night. Body needs to talk to foot so we can work all these things out.

Then again, I’m going through some stuff in the personal world, so maybe it’s just stress that’s keeping me up. Maybe a little meditation, reflection and perspective will help me sleep better.

NAH. I’LL JUST BLAME MY FOOT.

To Rest or Not To Rest?

That is the question.

I really need to whip my body into good cardio shape because in one month I have to run another half marathon race.  The problem is, every time I try to get back on the cardio bandwagon, my foot gives out. I did something to it (see my previous post about it) and I don’t know how best to go about fixing it.

I was grateful enough to get the perfect new running shoes, which have been extremely comfortable and I’m excited to run many miles in. But some damage has already been done to my shoes from my last long run and I don’t know how to fix it.

I’ve been trying to massage it with a tennis ball daily to keep it a little loose. It seems to help. At least I’m not waking up in the morning hobbling like I was the week after I pulled it.

But when I go to the gym, I need to do some cardio. At the very least, I need to lift my legs to keep the muscles working and challenged. Unfortunately, these two activities right now are making my foot worse.

I know I should probably just rest it. Just let it go for a week and take it easy. But I don’t “take it easy” well. I want it to be better and I want it to be better now and I don’t understand how I can’t just talk my mind out of the problem.

But I’m gonna try and respect the pain. I’m gonna spend the week lifting other things. Maybe every time I get angry about not being able to run, I’ll do ab work. Try and get my weakness to be my strength. That’d be making a positive out of the situation, right?

I can’t even get on the elliptical, you guys. The elliptical- the dumbest cardio ever created- hurts my stupid food. I feel likek such a weakling…

The Dinkiest Gym in All The Land

My gym is terrible.

It’s dark and smelly.

At any given time, at least half of the cardio machines have an “Out of Order” sign on them. At least half of the supposedly “working” machines do not function properly.

The pool is filled with old people, fat people, or some combination thereof.

The sauna stopped working.

The weight room is gross. I’ve seen the same water bottle sitting in the corner for a week, giving me little faith it gets cleaned on a regular basis.

The mats for stretching are from 1912 and barely hanging on by a thread.

In the locker room, half of the lockers are bent out of shape so they don’t open properly. Some of them are cut so you can’t put your lock in them. Others are sticky inside.

In the shower rooms, most of them don’t have a curtain for privacy. And the hot water only works on some of the showers. And one time, I showered right after they cleaned it with industrial cleaner and I got a sinus infection for a week from the strong fumes.

It doesn’t have air conditioning. At least it doesn’t feel like it.

You have to pay 50 cents for parking every time you leave.

Supposedly, it was going to start construction three months ago. Some people walked around. Nothing has been started and nobody has been warned.

And yet I love it.

I am totally anonymous there. I don’t have to impress anyone. Nobody pays attention to anyone else. Everyone has the same crappy expectations. Everyone is just in there to do some work on themselves and get the hell out. I know where everything is. I recognize people who work and workout at the same times I’m there. I’m comfortable. I trust it.

What the hell is that all about?

Guilt As Motivation

I saw a guy yesterday at my gym who clearly had problems walking.

I saw a blind man walk down from the top of the stairs in the weight room all the way to the locker room slowly following the railing and his own instinct.

I see really old people who barely shuffle along plop down on a treadmill and get their sweat on.

I read stories of people who went from being almost unable to walk to running marathons through slow but sure dedication to exercise.

I’ve lost close friends of mine way too young. These friends loved to race and workout.

I see, read, and think about stuff on a weekly basis and it motivates me to get off my butt and get to the gym.

If the guy who has problems walking can get on the Stairmaster, I can get over my little sore foot and get a good run in.

If the blind guy can get a ride to the gym, find his way in an out of the locker room, get up and down three flights of stairs to presumably lift weights for a while, I can finish that last set of pull ups I wasn’t looking forward to.

If an old person get take their fragile body on a treadmill and make a concerted effort to continue to push it to better themselves,  I get take my young, healthy body on a treadmill for a mere 30 minute jog.

If a man who had scar tissue throughout his body and was almost in a wheelchair at age 40 can slowly reengineer his body through a whole lot of yoga and even more patience and perseverance to be able to run again without pain, I can get off my lazy ass and get some time in at the gym.

If some of my wonderful buddies were still around, they would give anything to go for a run in the fresh air and feel their lungs burn while their muscles tire out. It’s such a meditative, familiar feeling that you get addicted to once you’ve experienced it enough. Sometimes, when I’m really not motivated or need an extra push to get through a rough running patch, I’ll picture my friend running with me, giving me that extra inspiration to keep going strong.

Maybe it’s weird. Or maybe it’s the midwestern in me that constantly feels guilt. But I use it as a reason to get off my butt and be the best me I can possibly be.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get my workout in.