Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm a Glutton for Punishment

After being on the couch all day Sunday I was feeling better Monday. I hate not doing some kind of workout, so I figured I would get on the treadmill and see if I could run. If I found it was not working, at least I'd be at home already. So, I hopped on and started out. I seemed to start sweating a lot faster than usual. Not good. At about the first mile mark I went into a major cough fit and had to slow the treadmill to a 4mph walk. I did this for a while and then tried (slowly) to increase the speed back up to at least a jog. I'd get to about 4.7mph and then go into a coughing fit again. I had to keep it around 4.6 to be able to jog. After 3 miles of that, I called it quits.

Tuesday I hit the gym at lunch time. Last year I was doing this regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I would go at lunch and lift weights. Right before my half ironman last October I stopped going to give my legs a break. And I never went back. It was time to get back and I had been meaning to since the first of February. I finally made it. I lifted light weights and low reps just to judge where I am at. Some weights I need to increase and some are just fine where they were at.

Tuesday night was yoga. I had some problems breathing during yoga since you are suppose to breath in and out of your nose. That's kind of hard when you are all stopped up and congested. But I think all the inverted poses kind of helped. Not to be gross or anything, but later Tuesday night I was actually able to cough up some of that congestion that's been hanging out in my chest.

This morning I felt much better. Today was also the first day of cycling hill repeats with TNT. Since my son's Boy Scout meeting got cancelled, I decided I would go to hill repeats instead of doing a 15-20 mile ride around the neighborhood. And I knew I was in trouble as I approached our meeting spot and come upon this:Yikes!!! I get to the bottom of the hill (where we would be starting from) and look up and think "it would have been so much easier to ride in the neighborhood". But, I know it will help in the long run. I've seen the elevation profile for Tahoe, and there are some nice hills out there.

A few more people show up, but it turned out I was the only female. Great. I just knew they would all plow up that hill and leave me in the dust. I figured I'd just let them go first and start in the back. So off we go. I'm in my easiest gear and I hit the hill. There is no "spinning" to it. It's pure mashing. And I'm doing a whopping 5mph. Wahoo! I just keep going. There is no way I want to stop in the middle of the hill and walk my bike up. I push and push and push. I thought we had a really long way to go. The next thing I know, the assistant coach says "we are almost there". What? We were about 15 feet from the cul-de-sac where we would stop. Thank goodness. The hill itself was about 8/10ths of a mile. And it was steep. It was about 400 feet of climbing in that short distance.

We spun around the cul-de-sac for a few minutes to loosen up our legs and then did a loop around the neighborhood coming down and EXTREMELY steep hill to get back to the start. I was in the drops and riding the brakes almost the whole way down and still hit 20mph. I was a little worried because we were in a neighborhood and at one point I did have a dog almost run out in front of me. Luckily, the owner was right there and called it back. Otherwise, that could have been nasty. That's my biggest fear - crashing while going really fast. I love going fast down hill, but only if no one and no traffic is around. That's not going to happen in Tahoe.

So now we are back at the bottom of the hill. And up we go again. This time, however, I actually pass someone. Go me. But I'm still going very slow. I think at one point my computer showed 3mph. I'm not setting any records here. But I made it again without getting off the bike. A couple of the men had to stop. We cheated this time and came right back down the hill we went up. I ended up with a grand total of 4.83 miles. Not quite the 15-20 miles I would normally do, but I'd say it was just as good of a workout.

I'm very glad I went tonight and hope I can make the hill repeats at least a couple of times a month between now and June 1. It will definitely help my confidence in Tahoe. While I'm fairly certain I will finish Tahoe, I'd like to do so without having to walk up any hills. The only bad thing about going tonight is that when you are climbing hills like that, you are also working your lungs really hard. And that has started my cough back up. Uggghhh! I've just taken my medicine so hopefully it will kick in before I get in bed. We'll see if my legs feel like lifting weights tomorrow during lunch. :)

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