If not for this blog, I probably wouldn't have gone to the gym this morning. It's just way too easy for me to say, at 0515 when I'm still sleepy, &*^&$#@# it and just roll over and go back to sleep. But I made a commitment yesterday, publicly, to get over to the gym and I'd feel like an idiot if I blew it off and then had to either confess on my blog or lie to cover my tracks. And I wouldn't lie to you!!
Today's workout. I was at the gym and on the treadmill by 0715, fully caffeinated, energized by a yummy Cherry Pie Larabar and ready to rumble. Crank up the incline to 1.5% to better simulate the workload of running outdoors. Half mile warmup at a walk, then settle into running slowly and creakily, at a little faster pace than I'm immediately comfortable with (5.2-5.3 mph). I wish the treadmill didn't have settings in mph, since I think about running in minutes per mile. My arthritic knees start out a little painful and then they warm into it. The usual "this is stupid, I hate it, make it end" thoughts come and go with complete predictability at about 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile into the run. I pass the time by people-watching the other folks on the ellipticals. A hispanic couple get on the adjacent two treadmills and the chick disinfects the guy's treadmill for him - WTF is up with that? I sneak a peek at his numbers and I'm secretly delighted to see I'm going faster than him. I take a walking break after a mile run, then go again - a little faster this time (5.5 mph). I feel pretty good after getting nicely warmed up, and as usual, I'm sweating buckets with a red blotchy face while everyone else in the gym looks calm, cool, and collected. One girl on an elliptical even has on a sweatshirt hanging way off one shoulder - not only does it look like it would be hot and uncomfortable, but hey, the Flashdance fad is so eighties! People start making concerned glances in my direction. Is it my huffing and puffing, or the spray of sweat coming off the treadmill belt? I stop at 3.25 miles total after a little walk cool-down and head for the pool.
As usual, the lanes are full. I stop and wait politely to enter at the head of one. Two times the woman swims up to me standing there, turns, and departs without so much as a glance. Okay, BE THAT WAY, I'm getting in with you! Actually, I kind of like to swim with someone else in the lane because I need to get used to the distraction of people swimming around me for triathlons. I give myself the task of completing a ten-lap time trial for 500 meters, just over the distance I'll have to swim on April 17, 500 yards. I splash along steadily and come in at 15:03. Hmm, that's 546 yards, that's a 2:45/100 yards pace, which is faster than I swam it in 2002, and I'll probably push myself harder on race day. I'll use that as my time to beat! I continued to play around with my form for another 12 laps (just for a little extra over my commitment from yesterday) and headed home.
In the mail: my first issue of Geezerjock. Hmm, I still have over two years until I turn fifty, but it still looks kind of interesting. I like their approach to lifelong fitness and competition in this issue, but it seems a little too "gee whiz, look at those old farts go!" in style yet. I'll reserve judgment. Check it out for yourselves, free 2005 subscriptions available at www.geezerjock.com.