adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Posts tagged ‘biking’

my friend, the trainer

Have you met my friend?  The trainer.  This trainer is my new BFF in terms of time efficiency and overall enjoyment.  You mean I get to work out AND watch Grey’s Anatomy or Biggest Loser or Parks and Rec? Um, check.   Or I can even consider myself hard core and do a DVD of biking, which is actually cooler than it sounds?  I know, I know, but if you think you wouldn’t push yourself on a bike while watching a soap opera, then you might respond better to a DVD, all of which I obtained from my library (and I mean through inter-library loan, so don’t even make excuses if you live in a remote area!).

trainer photo

btw, not a fan of photo editing from my iPhone. Also not a fan of that half-eaten PowerBar, whose origin date is unknown.

Yup, all that Kleenex is mine.  I think I will take advantage of blowing my snot into perfectly good Kleenex for now, since I am certain I have at least 6 months of farmer’s blow ahead of me.  And, I actually had a sinus infection, so if it seems excessive, it probably is.

I love my trainer because I go into my own home basement and I actually think, “What am I forgetting?” but the truth is that I am not forgetting anything because socks are all I need (I keep my shoes on the shelf down there!).  If I want water, I go and get it.  It’s really quite ingenious.  Now, if I could get a treadmill down there, I might not ever leave.

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pole pedal paddle

I visited the mecca of fit people this weekend- my sister’s hometown of Steamboat.  Literally, it might be the fittest town in America.  So while stuffing my face with delicious appetizers and a few drinks, I met a woman who described her perfect workout regimen.  It consisted of 3 elements: “pole, pedal, paddle”.  She skis, then bikes, then kayaks on an ideal day.  Sounds awesome, right?

Cousin Mark tried to rope me into something not as awesome-sounding later in the weekend.  He’s planning on participating in the Beaver Creek Tough Mudder in June.  He persuaded his wife to do it by making it sound like all laughs until she agreed to sign up.  Then he showed her the video of an actual event.  By his account, she was not thrilled.  I mean, who wants to compete in something that actually advertises “10,00 volts of electricity” as part of the course map?  Apparently over a half a million people, according to their website.

All judging aside, my point is that in today’s world, it’s nearly impossible not to find something you can be passionate about while achieving some fitness goals.  10 years ago, when I told my doctor I wanted to lose weight, she told me to train for something.  I went home and told my husband and we both laughed.  He said, “What are you gonna do?  Swim the English Channel?”  And then we went on about our lives, not doing anything other than sitting on the couch and walking our dog occasionally.

While I can’t change the past, now I realize she was right!  And the more events I research, the more I wanna do.  This year I am going to focus on triathlons and see if I really like them.  Trainer Guy said I had to pare down the schedule so I didn’t burn out.  That’s hard to do because I have friends I want to do tris with, and also local races that are fun and for a good cause.  How can you pick just a few?

Plus, it’s so inspiring to see people doing all kinds of events and races, even if they’re not my thing.  I will go and cheer for our cousins in the Tough Mudder for sure, and you know I will be one-man crew (with 2 tagalongs covered in dust and dirt) for all of hubby’s races this summer.  If you want to join me, the people watching is awesome, and the sideline banter fantastic.  Better yet, get out there and do something you want to do this summer, whether it’s a race, a ride, a relay, or an “experience”.  Sometimes all we need is a carrot on a stick dangling in front of us in order to get off the couch.

As for me, this summer’s gonna be awesome, but I get super excited even thinking about next year, because I absolutely want to start open water racing.  After we came home that night in Steamboat, I told my sister that someday I wanted to swim from Alcatraz.  Her eyes nearly popped out of her head.  She said, “You? You’re afraid of birds!  What about things with teeth that live in that water?”

She has a point.  So, maybe the English Channel will have to wait.  At least until I figure out a workaround for avoiding the things with teeth.

I Passed a Boy…

I passed a boy and I liked it, his look while I passed him,
I passed a boy just to try it, I could tell that he minded it,
He turned around, it felt so right, don’t mean I love to bike,
I passed a boy and I liked it!

I still think I could have a career as a female Weird Al.  What do you think?

I passed a MAN while  I was biking yesterday.  An actual person who looked like he might actually know how to bike.  With real bike clothes and a real road bike.  Probably he was warming down or something, since he turned around after I passed him (psych!)  That would make the number of people I have ever passed total TWO.  The other was an old lady out for a leisurely ride in the middle of a triathlon, so this was infinitely more satisfying.

Of course, since we live in Bike Mecca (see my other post on biking), I am certain this momentous occasion means nothing.  I am certain I will be put in my proper place at the bottom rung of people who know how to operate 2 wheeled machines very soon.  The Bike People are awakening from their winter slumber in Spin class, and soon there will be hordes of people out, not just the tribe of Crazy People Who Bike in Winter.

For now though I am gonna bask in the glow of my biking triumph.  And enjoy this welcome balmy weather! WOW!  Have a great weekend!

This thing should come with instructions…

This week I made the upgrade to real bike pedals and shoes for my road bike.  With the mild winter we’ve had, it’s easy to imagine myself out on the road soon and not stuck in yet another spin class.  I want to be ready for outdoors, and a friend invited me to come with her and ride on the Computrainer at her club.  It was kind of exciting and nerve-wracking to me.  Despite owning a road bike for 2 years, I still know shockingly little about it.  I can’t change a tire, and I wouldn’t even know what I need.  I can hardly change the gears successfully.  I rode it with sneakers for the past 2 summers and had to do a lot of research to even begin to comprehend putting “real” pedals and shoes on it.  Even then, I ended up with differing opinions.  A knowledgeable friend finally took pity on me and got the pedal/shoe/bike situation all fixed up.  Unfortunately, the cleats didn’t match the pedals.  So when I was doing my best to put my shoe into my pedal Saturday morning, I was thinking, “How do people make this look so easy?”  and trying not to die of embarrassment.  I mean, I had already had to admit that I had no idea what my “wattage” was to the girl entering my information into the computer.  WTF is wattage anyways?

Seriously, how do people get into biking?  I feel like I have to possess an advanced degree sometimes just to understand all the equipment and potential options I could have on my bike.   It’s way harder than buying a car.  There isn’t a ton of straightforward information out there on the internet about beginning biking in my opinion.  When you go to a bike shop, you basically have to admit you’re the village idiot and hope someone will have mercy on you.

I had the luck of purchasing my bike from the .000001% of bike shops that have a female owner or staff member (the very awesome Jeff and Dominique at Colorado Bike Service).  I got clued in to an essential piece of information regarding bike attire.  It was something I had pretty much figured out myself, but it was nice to have some confirmation.  Consider this a PSA for innocent chicks who think they might want to bike.

DO NOT WEAR UNDERWEAR WITH YOUR BIKE SHORTS.

Some of you are chuckling now because you think this is obvious information, but I can confirm that it is not.  There are women out there suffering traumatic injury due to the scarcity of information surrounding proper bike attire.  I mean, who cares if you have on a jersey or a T-shirt?  Bike “experts” should be zeroing in on real safety and protection, in my opinion.

You can look forward to more helpful tips as I get out on my bike more.  And you can thank me later!

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