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Lose It!

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

So, the other day while dicking around at work working really gosh-darn hard, I stumbled across Lose It!  Seems like a reasonably slick little site.  A way to track what you’re eating and how much you’re exercising, in terms of a net calories per day model, with an aim towards a weight loss goal.  Simple enough.

Reminds me of several other methods I’ve tried to do the same thing (or at least something similar enough).  I found it actually worked, so long as I stuck to it.  For me, it’s not so much about a daily calorie allowance, blah, blah, blah… it’s about accountability.  My rule to myself is: I can eat anything I want, as much as I want.  I just have to write it down.  No diet, no rules, no wagon to fall off of.  I just have to write it down.  And in writing it down, I see how many other times I’ve decided to eat crap (or extra crap) that I didn’t need, under the excuse of “I can eat anything I want”.  Even if I’m only accountable to myself, it seems to work.  Of course, it would work better if I was accountable to others as well (so to that end, if anyone else out there wants to use it or check it out – feel free to keep an eye on me 😉 )

The problem is, there is still a way to fall off of this wagon.  It’s only good if you keep it updated.  I do like that this site has a phone app for updates on the go.  Of course, it’s great to wave this flag as the difference from previous crash and burn attempts – I’ve been using this site for one day so far.  It may still pewter out like so many attempts before it, but I’m allowed to kid myself, aren’t I?

– DO’G

EDIT: Apparently the term is “Peter out”, not “Pewter out”.  Guess I’ve been saying that one wrong for years.  But really, that’s stupid: what the hell does “Peter out” mean?!? (yes, I know, I can look it up pretty easily on the internet – I’m being rhetoric)

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Back in the pool!

January 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, that didn’t take long.  After discovering only yesterday that I live right around the corner from a community center with a pool, today I went for my first swim since my last race in September 2011.

The pool

The pool was interesting.  Very much an urban recreation center – nothing fancy, luxurious, or really even convenient, but it was serviceable none the less (and close to home is worth a lot = I might actually stick with it).  The lady at the front desk (quite literally a student’s desk you’d find at a flee market) was so busy doing her crossword that she didn’t see me come in the building.  I paid for my swim, and asked her how busy the pool was.  She said “there’s quite a few people in there”, which I would soon come to understand means I’m the 3rd person to arrive.

I went into the change room.  I could have doubled as a typical kid’s hockey change room – a big room with benches around 3 walls and coat hooks above them.  No lockers.  In one corner was a big cage with an employee working inside and a little opening – you could ask for a basket and he would slide you one to put your wallet and other stuff you’d prefer not be stolen, and he’d bring it inside the cage for you.  It kinda felt like I was in jail.  Your personal effects go inside the cage – you don’t get a voucher or a number or anything in return.  You hand your valuables into the cage and trust when its time to leave that you’ll get them back.  Next was the shower room – a small brick room with 4 water spouts that look like outdoor taps to hook up a garden hose.  Each had a button on a spring.  You push the button and hot water comes out.  The button slowly springs back out and when it’s done the water turns off.  This takes a whole 3 seconds.  You could keep pushing it over and over if you wanted a shower longer than 3 seconds, but that got old pretty quick.

The pool itself was nice.  25m long.  Hotter than should be water.  And the shallow end was shallow enough I could rest on my knees between lengths (I could almost sit cross legged).  It felt a bit like swimming in a barn.  But very much a community pool – less than a dozen swimmers the whole time I was there spanned all generations.  There were chairs on the deck with signs stating they were specifically for mothers who needed to breastfeed.  The lifeguards were very nice and chatty.  It was a very comfortable environment (but I don’t expect to ever run into any elite swimmers there).

The swim

Once upon a time I would have told you that the swim was the strongest sport for me in the triathlon.  Leading up to my last race, it was the sport I trained the least for (by far), yet the sport I did the best in.  I had a lot of confidence in my swim, and felt quite ok taking a break after the race for a few months.  Boy, am I glad I got back at it now and didn’t wait any longer.  I was SLOW.  My 1km time was almost 50% longer than what I expected.  My arms got so tired pulling through the water that I didn’t even notice the cardio work out until I stopped for a break.  It felt really good to be back in the pool, but I’ve got a lot of work to do to get my swim strength back

I guess that’s the funny thing about triathlon.  You can’t just focus on training one sport, even if you know it’s your weak link.  You’ll ultimately just trade one weak link for another.  But that’s the beauty of it at the same time – training isn’t about running every day, or swimming every day.  It’s a balance of several different sports, and when you’re doing it right, it keeps things interesting and varied.  It was so nice to do something other than run today – both drained and recharged the batteries at the same time.  Looking forward to running again tomorrow!

-DO’G

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Kinda excited

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Some of you may have noticed this is a blog about me trying to train for triathlon, but always posting about running.  Isn’t there more to triathlon than running?

Why yes there is.  In fact there’s two more sports in triathlon, that are both distinctly more enjoyable than running: biking, and swimming.  But there’s two good reasons why I really only ever train at the run:

  1. I suck at running.  I really suck at it.  I run like a 300lb man who’s never gotten off the couch before in his life.  So I try to over emphasize it with blind hope that I’ll get better
  2. I’m really cheap.  And this time of year you can lace up your shoes and run in the snow.  But biking and swimming in the snow really sucks.  And I’m too cheap to pay for a gym membership so that I can do those things indoors

BUT, on my run this evening I discovered that this one old rundown looking brick walled building that I have always run past and never given a moment’s thought to is actually a rec complex… with a pool!!!  And a little interwebs searching tells me they have lane swim times.  And it’s not too expensive.  And it’s 1/2 km from my house.  Joygasm!!!

I get to add swimming into my training!  That’s so exciting!  I think my goal for next week will be to actually go inside this old brick building and check it out… maybe even with a bathing suit and a few dollars in hand!

-DO’G

Afternoon naps rock!

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

I just had the best afternoon nap.

Every time I read an article about elite level triathletes and their training routines, they always talk about 2 things: mid day naps, and frequent massage.  Maybe that’s why I aspire to be a successful triathlete!

(I get the distinct impression there were other aspects to their training routine that for some reason aren’t coming to mind right now…)

-DO’G

Oooh – a link :-)

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Short post for today (since I really *should* get back to work soon)…

A co-worker of mine has was expressing today her frustrations at sticking with a nutrition/diet/exercise program (preaching to the choir there).  It reminded me of this link that I found a while back (before I started this blog).

Sometimes we need to smile and remember the basics… and have a little fun with it all.

– DO’G

Musings on a rainy Monday Morning

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Still having internet troubles at home – yep, that’s my excuse for the sporadic posts lately.  I tried to log on yesterday morning and post, instead I spent time with Bell tech support again.  At that point I gave up and grabbed a book and a blanket.

So what was I going to post about yesterday morning?…

Sunday morning’s run SUCKED.  Seriously: such a demoralizing run!  Lasted all of 3.5kms, and really tough ones at that.  Now, there’s a number of possible excuses for this:

  • I hadn’t run in 6 days
  • The beers and bacon cheeseburger from the night before (though seriously, possibly the best burger I’ve ever had, so arguably worth it… arguably…)
  • The next morning effects of the beers I had the night before
  • Running in the morning, when I’m used to running after work (how awake/rested the body is, when/how much it last ate)
  • Looking up the temperature online (-8 with a windchill of -15), and dressing accordingly, then getting outside and it’s sunny and feels like +5
  • Choosing a running route that took a snow-covered path up the Hamilton Escarpment (all it needed was an army obstacle course with walls to climb and tires to run through)

I could spend time trying to analyze all of these potential impacts, asses my performance, come up with a plan to run better next time, blah blah blah yack yack yack.  Fuck it.  Let’s chalk this one up to a day that wasn’t meant to be.  They can’t all be good runs, and I can’t get bent out of shape when one doesn’t go as planned.  I really do believe that you run today not to make today’s run better, but to make tomorrow’s run better.

So tonight when I get home from work it’s back out onto the streets for another run – hopefully yesterday morning I got the beers and cheeseburgers out of my system.  It won’t be 6 days from my last run, or morning.  I won’t be dressed for 20 degrees colder than it is, and I sure as hell won’t be running up that hill.  If we’re still having problems, then I’ll try to figure out what’s going wrong.

-DO’G

 

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‘Yes’

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

I guess I haven’t posted in a few days… no, it’s not a sign that this was a quick fad that I’ve given up on (although wouldn’t be the first time… anyone out there remember WickedFictitious.com?  yeah, me neither 🙂

I can come up with a bunch of excuses… internet at home was out for a day; work has been pretty busy; I’ve been trying to adjust to a different sleep schedule.  The truth is, there hasn’t been anything to post about.  I’d hope that means I’m otherwise busy with fun and important things (which is sometimes true).  But really in this case it means I’m dragging ass.

Last night was a cop out.  I was going to go for a run, but it was cold and I was tired (no excuse – race day doesn’t get moved back because it’s been cold lately).  And then I thought I’d lift some weights instead… and then I overthought the situation and didn’t.

The key problem there was overthinking.  I spent a lot of time thinking about it – do I have time, what would I do, what else do I have to do.  But I was thinking about it and coming up with reasons not to train.  I wasn’t thinking about it looking for excuses to train, I was looking for excuses not to.

Training really is a frame of mind.  You really do have to overcome a natural urge to say ‘no, I can’t tonight’.  At least that’s how it is at first – perhaps some day when I’ve gotten into a routine and been doing this for months (or years) it might be mentally easier.  But for now it’s a real culture shift – changing your instinctive reaction from ‘no’ to ‘yes’.  But it has so many parallels in life – not just in training, but how you approach your work, your family, your health, your friends.  It’s easy to shelter yourself and find reasons ‘not to’ – finding reasons ‘to’ takes quite the shift.

So that’s my challenge to myself this week (and to anyone out there reading this): Say ‘yes’.  Catch yourself when you’re finding reasons to say ‘no’ to shelter yourself, and say ‘yes’ instead.  Now, I’m not talking on the same level as that stupid “Yes Man” movie (I’m not putting a link in here – if you don’t know the movie you’re better off).  Don’t say ‘yes’ to a 2nd bowl of ice cream, or drinking like you’re back in college, or quitting your day job.  Say ‘yes’ to something that challenges you – pushes you forward and out of your comfort zone.  Say ‘yes’ to something that could make you greater, but might be tough in the short run.  Say ‘yes’ to yourself.

What are you going to say ‘yes’ to?

-DO’G

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