But, Baby, It’s Cold Outside…

It really was cold outside. And is today. I don’t quite understand why banks in the U.S. tell you the time and temperature outside on those flashing boards, but it is handy in reaffirming the non-welcoming idea that it is becoming too cold to ride outside.

Then again, 35 isn’t freezing yet.

It’s almost the end of my first week of training, which was not too bad. As my trainer said, it won’t be too bad until the weeks in April when I’ll be spending 15hrs a week either bike/swim/or running when I’ll be re-thinking why I’m doing such a race. Thus far, I managed to STICK to the plan, and might I add, is the first week I’ve ever stuck to a training plan in my LIFE. Ok, well, I followed the swimming and running, but did a bit more on the bike rides, just because the inability to feel my extremities was so fun I needed to be on my bike more than 60 minutes. To be honest, I do not think I’ve ever gone for a 6o minute bike ride, unless under racing conditions. I simply don’t feel like that is a workout, same as I feel a 3mile run is nothing–except, again, under racing conditions. However, racing is different. You are pushing yourself beyond your natural limits, with your legs and body despising you throughout the whole race…If you compete in races, you know exactly what I mean. There is no other feeling like finishing a race exhausted, in pain, and feeling like you are going to puke your guts out.

 

"Mol, what are you doing?" "I lost a screw for the odometer." "I think you've lost screws in your head."

Swimming

My time at Bard has been getting better and better. Despite my watch breaking, so it’s harder to keep track of lap/lap time, and consuming too much chlorinated water, I think I’m improving. First two times in the pool I despised it. Now, I don’t mind heading to the pool, especially when the weather is horrible outside. I still suck at the sport, and while I’m gasping for air, the 70 year old lady in the lane next to me is (1)swimming faster than me and (2) makes it look so natural. I kick myself now for stopping swimming when I was thirteen years old. I’ve learned to completely shut off my brain (which, for me, who thinks 24/7, is pretty impressive) when I swim, and just concentrate on strokes…And not drowning, or swimming into the person next to me.

Biking

My rides this week have been going well, no change there.I went for a training ride yesterday and passed a sign declaring it was only 35 degrees out. For some odd reason, my frozen fingers and toes could have sworn it was more like 32. I guess if I want to spend as much time as possible off my trainer, the inability to feel your phalanges will be a phenomenon I’ll need to get used to. Unlike the running and swimming where I’ve followed my plan to the T, my rides have been a bit longer, simply because I hate my trainer. Despite my three layers of socks and two sets of gloves, I still get cold. Just a helpful hint, it’s a bit dangerous riding with your hands in fists to try to gain feeling back into your fingers, because when you need to break or shift….Just trust me on that one. Don’t do it.

Running

The running is fine. I’m actually getting better at that discipline, I feel the burning-of-thighs-and-lungs by doing hill work on my bike have definitely helped my tolerance for pain running up hills. My pace is actually quicker than it was before I had begun cycling again, as seen by the 5k race I did last week.

Random Thoughts

Food

I’ve heard hardcore endurance athletes concerned about what they eat–glycemic index of foods, people who watch their carbohydrate/fat/protein intake. At one point in my life, it was an obsession, I admit it. Everyone has that phase. Then I realized I love food too much to worry about what I eat.

Until work the other night, when I found myself looking at the carb content, fat, and protein of peanut butter (graham crackers and peanut butter seem to be my staple meal while working…we never had peanut butter at the Children’s Hospital where I used to work). A colleague of mine noticed me looking at the Nutrition label and stated, “You are one of those athletes who is concerned at the content of food, aren’t you?”

I jumped at first, not because of his comment, but because he scared me. Then, it dawned on me, “Holy crap, I’m looking at the nutrition content of food.”

Have I become a crazy, obsessed, nutritional freak?

No, not yet. I’ll start becoming concerned about my “peak racing weight” after the holidays.

I did notice that on little containers of peanut butter there is a warning that the “Product contains nuts.” So, for those of you who are allergic to nuts, please, do not eat PeaNUT Butter.

Men

Apparently, according to a friend, I intimidate men. Honestly, I do not understand how I am intimidating. I’m the most approachable, non-intimidating person on the existence of this planet. But my friend noticed a conversation I had with a male the other day, and brought it to my attention that some men do not find it attractive when your response to their answer is a long sigh with a frown on your face, or when you try to contain your laughter after they speak.

“Mol, your obsession with racing is just intimidating to men.”

“It’s not like I asked him what his PR for a mile is or anything.”

The conversation went like this:

Me: “Do you run at all?”

(Let’s call him B): “Ugh, please. I don’t understand how people find it appealing to run for no reason.”

Me: “Do you like to bike?”

B: “Mmm, no, not really.”

Me: “What’s not really mean?”

B: “I hate it.”

Me (feeling like someone just jabbed me in the heart with a knife and, according to my friend, had a “disgusted” look on my face): “Oh. How about hiking?”

B: “I did once this summer when it was warm.”

Me: “What do you do for fun then?”

B: “I whittle.”

Me (after trying to contain laughter and, I guess, too long of a pause, and deep inhale): “Oh…”

B: “What do you like to do?”

Me: “Everything you hate.”

How is that intimidating? Okay, in all honestly, he lost 175% of my attention when he said he hates biking. But, I was able to hold a straight face when he said he whittles for fun. Please, no offense to you whittlers out there. I give you lots of credit, because you are able to carve intricate items out of wood. I cannot slice tomatoes without somehow slicing my finger by accident. Just fair warning, my life revolves around running, cycling, and swimming. You’re digging yourself a bigger grave when you say you hate one of those activities.

More Randmoness

Below is a short video; I cannot help but laugh when I watch it. No, I’m not training for a full Ironman. I need to conquer the HIM, and just triathlons in general without dying, before that can happen. Although, I do know when next years Lake Placid race is…

Yes, I’m crazy.

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