Friday, April 23, 2010

Running Errands

Ruth, Laura, & I crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge on our way back to the city.

One great thing, I have found with working at home is that I can take a few hours in the middle of the day to go for a bike ride or run. I met Ruth and Laura for a ride up the Headlands in Marin one afternoon last week. My mantra has always been that I need exercise--for my mental and physical health! I also argue, that for my co-workers, me exercising is really befitting them--I am much more productive and pleasant when I do! I got back from my ride to discover a 4-block radius around my apartment had been closed off & evacuated due to a gas line break (construction on the street in front of my apartment), so I went & grabbed a coffee. By the time I got back, I was able to get back inside. I sat at my desk & just worked away the rest of the afternoon, practically without even glancing at the clock!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In the Saddle

Mid-July, I am planning to do a 1/2 Ironman triathlon. This means a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, followed by a 13.1-mile run, all in one day, all right after each other! I admit, I get tired thinking about it & realize I still have a lot of training I need to do! I have 3 months, but I know it will go quickly!

I have been using every opportunity and every willing friend to get outside and schedule training rides, swims, and runs! I have actually been enjoying my training. When the rain is pelting me and the wind is blowing me sideways, I try not to curse. When it takes me an entire day to get my nerve up to swim in the Bay, I remind myself, "I get to.." ride, run, and swim!

I have learned, through numerous races and training sessions the humbling effects of training. The body is incredibly efficient and able to be pushed beyond limits. There are days when you toe the line your body will perform wonderfully, and there are other days, where the results are less than ideal. I have been at enough races and training sessions and had my share of ailments, stomach discomforts, regurgitation, loss of toe nails. I've seen body parts (those that should remain "unseen" by people who don't even know your middle name) and bodily fluids that I have become incredibly respectful and humbled by the body and not be surprised by anything I see, feel, hear. Either I can directly relate or I feel a pang of sympathy in my stomach for a person who is struggling.

Still, I do find myself surprised from time to time. In the past few months, I have seen a few things that raised my eyebrow. Though, I do know how incredibly difficult it is to fit training in to life, I think some people just learn how to be creative!

1. While biking, a man (whom I have seen several times), tucks his flip-cell phone into his turbine so that he can bike and chat, all the while keeping both hands free for steering. (He does break one of my bike rules of not wearing a helmet. No, the turbine does not count!) He can exercise and check in on his mom all at the same time.

2. Another biker, I saw, wore a shower cap over his helmet. It was raining that day. Whatever works, man!

3. I saw the "Easter Bunny" on a bike in the park. Hey, some days you have to work & you still need to get your training ride in!

4. The same morning as I saw the Easter Bunny, I also saw a man holding a huge boa constrictor, like the kind you see at the zoo...huge. I guess even boa constrictors like exercise!

5. And maybe the award for multi-tasking goes to the typical San Francisco woman, in the park, pushing her kid in a stroller, one hand holds her cell phone and the dog leash and the other hand pushes the stroller and holds a latte!

Still, I have learned not to judge. I guess, I could be any of the 5 above, with the exception of a being man wearing turbine and the fact that I think I would get a dog before a snake. I am sure I have looked ridiculous doing or wearing something( 25 pound backpack!) while training that have raised a few eyebrows.

So, here's to pushing your body to new limits and fitting training sessions into a crazy life--doing it with style and grace, and when you can't, just doing it anyway!