It's raining here today. Not just raining - pouring. And cold. Just plain raw.
It's the kind of day that makes you want to stay in your PJ's all day, snuggled up under the covers, maybe watching a bad made-for-TV movie or reading a book.
It's the kind of day that TC refers to as a Banana Pancakes Day, with a nod toward Jack Johnson, who wrote a song about days just like this. Days best spent sleeping in, eating banana pancakes with someone you love.
And it's the kind of day that, during marathon training just a few weeks ago, would have had me trudging through some double-digit run in this silliness. I would have been wringing out my socks and drying my shoes for days.
As I looked out the window this morning, there was a part of me that told myself it wasn't raining that badly. I could get in a run, maybe six miles or so. Tough it out, right?
I struck a little balance between what I wanted to do (stay under covers and enjoy the Banana Pancakes Day) and the craziness of what I could have done (made myself go for a rain-soaked run) and ended up at the gym.
I didn't really have a plan in mind. I'd gotten two good spin classes in this week (totaling 32+ miles on the bike) and one decent outdoor run mid-week (decent because I felt great and strong, not necessarily because of the distance).
A few miles on the treadmill would do me some good, I thought.
But oh how I dislike the treadmill - its monotony, that large display screen slowly ticking away the miles and minutes, the constant whirring, the dozens of flickering television screens in front of me, the people next to me focusing on anything and everything but running (talking on cell phones, reading magazines, etc.).
I decided to make my most of my trip to the gym, spending part of my time with some circuit training on my upper body and the rest of the time doing some interval work on the treadmill.
My iPod shuffle, still loaded with my "Getting Thru 26.2" playlist, made today's trip a little more bearable. I cranked it to drown out the annoyances of the gym.
In all, I tallied only four miles. But for a change I wasn't focused on distance or on just getting the miles in for training. I was focused on making them good, productive miles. I'm beginning to realize what people mean when they say "junk" miles.
I alternated half-mile intervals between a comfortably steady pace (around 10-minute-miles) and a fast-for-me pace of 8-minute-miles. I felt great and the time flew by. The calorie counter, although I know they aren't exactly accurate, showed many more calories burned than I would have in a normal, steady four miler.
Hopefully workouts like this - and the spin classes and any other cross training I might add - will help me shed these 10 pounds I gained during marathon training (yes, really!) and get me in tip-top shape over the winter.
My marathon training plan has been removed from my fridge door, replaced now with a more general tracking sheet to help me log my runs and other activities. I've also added a column to track my weight at the beginning of each week - and TC's on board to help me with a graph at his place tracking both of our progress. (He's already at his "goal" weight, but wants to focus on maintaining that number during the winter when he doesn't ride.)
I really appreciate his support (are you getting sick of me saying that yet?) and help with this weight thing. Remember, it's been an issue for me in the past (see this post from July 2008) and one of those things I'm never sure I'll ever be entirely happy with.
TC's chart obviously had to include our weights - and honestly, I felt a little uneasy revealing "my number" to him. Rationally, I knew he wouldn't care what the number was - but these things aren't always rational. And women are funny about their weight. I'm probably even funnier than most women about it.
Here it goes: I weighed in at 140 (I can't believe I'm writing that), 10 pounds heavier than last year at this time. And a good 25+ pounds higher than my lowest weight several years ago. On another note, that number is still about 15 pounds lighter than I was during the college years (all those late night pizzas and plenty of beer add up).
It's not that I want the world to know how much I weigh. But I'm a big proponent of writing down and tracking goals, which isn't a surprise to anyone who's seen the charts on my fridge. I figure throwing it out there in black and white will put that extra bit of pressure on me. I'll be sure to post updates and goals here along the way, if only for myself.
I won't know until Monday what to fill in the new weight column on the fridge. But on the training side, things are off to a good start. (Is it still called training if I don't have another race scheduled?)
It looks like this week's chart will end up at 10 miles of running and 60-something miles of biking (32 miles of spin class and somewhere around 30 miles of "real" biking, if TC and I can get out for the ride we have planned for tomorrow). Not too shabby, considering the battle with disappearing daylight and a busier-than-usual schedule at work recently.
I'm really looking forward to the fresh air, to seeing new places, even to struggling up the hills tomorrow. I can't wait to be outside again.
Luckily, the forecast calls for a sunny day in the 60's - perfect for an end-of-season ride, the kind of ride that isn't about counting calories burned or anything like that.
It's the kind of ride you just enjoy with someone you love. Think of it as a better, more healthy version of banana pancakes.
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