I always feel a little awkward in a gym, as there are the farms of treadmills/ellipticals, then two sections of weight machines. But up at the back are the free weights and racks, the grunters gym. That’s where I need to be as I only ever use free weights, all my training calls for it. But that’s where all the big meaty guys are, and I’m just a little 180lb needle necked triathlete. When I first went there you could see the looks out of the corners of their eyes, or some outright stares, sizing you up, measuring muscles, whether you are fit to enter their domain.
What. Ever. I’m there to work out, currently on a maximal strength month (4 body parts per day, different parts each work-out, 5 sets to failure in 4-6 reps), one more week of this and back to circuits, but lifting 20-30 lbs heavier than I was 6 weeks ago. So I head there, iPod already switched on and cranked and basically ignore them, though I guess much like the wilds of Africa I get acknowledged now, as they are used to my presence in their midst. There are a group of 4-6 hispanic guys always there, they pack around a pair of stations and monopolize them for 1/2 hour at a time, one finally looks at my triathlon t-shirt and asks "you do those things", I unplug my headphones and go "huh" so he repeats it, yeah says myself, look of amazement on his face and much talking between them and then the looks changed afterwards. I haven't the heart to tell them that all my t-shirts are sprint or International short distance tri's not the monster Ironman they see on tv each year. ;-)
It doesn’t bother me as I know I am in great shape for what I do, but some stations face the mirror, each time I think I look ripped there is some ape with muscles fit to burst standing beside or behind me. Oh well.
Entertainment last night was this geeky, puny little guy walking in, square black framed glasses, grubby sweats and t-shirt that has seen better days, you could almost see the bristling, until he hopped to the pull up bar and proceeded to nail out 50 wide grip pull-ups. Wanders off to the free weights and does lateral shoulder raises with 30 pound plates then comes back without rest and peels off another 50 pull ups, perfect form and almost without effort. Eyes were popping out of heads, he was still repeating this when I headed for the pool…:-)
The pool was very encouraging, its only my third time swimming, or rather swimming to train in years. The first two I just focused on swimming drill after swimming drill, trying to re-develop my balance and feel for the water, which will come back with time, when I learnt how to swim freestyle properly (and more efficiently) it took a month. But last night I decided to aim for 2,000 yards, just swimming easily, as a l.s.d. - long slow distance – I do one workout per week in each sport like this to build aerobic endurance). Even though my form was going to the dogs after 1500 yards, if I concentrated I could hold it together and the yards kept ticking off. Total time was a shade under 60 minutes, which I know is slow, but will improve rapidly with more swimming. Even so that would scale up to a swim time of 1:54 for the 2.4 miles of the Ironman, well under the 2:30 cutoff. I would like to go under 1:30, which I think is possible, but we’ll see how my l.s.d. times come down with more drills and anaerobic sets.
Adding things up, given I’m still 8 months away from the race based on l.s.d. times (other sessions are much faster) would be
Swim (2.4 miles) – 1:54
Bike (112 miles) – 7:00
Run (26.2 miles) – 4:46
I would actually be happy with that. Though I know both in my head and heart that those times will come down. Lets see what the projection is at the end of March.
Weather still looking decidedly dodgy, snow forecast overnight changing to sleet and freezing rain tomorrow morning, which is supposed to keep going until Saturday morning. Dang it. So the pic above, that could well be how I spend my Saturday morning :-(