Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Danskin Part 1: How to Lose Races and Alienate Swimmers

After several months of *training* (i.e. learning to stay on the bike, running one 5k with a lightning speed 13+ minute mile, and swimming the occasional lap of breast stroke), race weekend had finally arrived.  The whole group of us went to pick up our race packets and get marked for the big day!  It was so exciting!

After getting our packets it was  time to rack our bikes.   We got a chance to check out the course as well.  We went to the water to see the buoys that marked our swim.

My expression immediately went from


My trusty friend and unofficial bike coach Patty reassured me:  "It's not far.  It will be fine!  And there will be lifeguards out too!"

I tried to believe her and went home, pushing the impending thoughts of doom the swim as far out of my mind as possible.

The next day we headed out early in the morning, and I was full of vim and vigour!  (Ignorance really *is* bliss).  I stripped down to my swimsuit and met my race buddies!  I looked around and sneered derisively at all the silly girls who had wasted their money on fancy wetsuits.  When it was finally our time to start, we went and stood ankle deep in the frigid water (I'm pretty sure they flew in an Arctic glacier to feed the lake).  Dave managed to snap a picture as my feet were going numb:


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We interrupt the current training flashback in order to discuss...


Can someone please tell me *what* mother-loving, lactate-burning, Marquis de Sade bitch athlete (ahem, sorry, I don't know what came over me) devised this crazy idea.  What--biking on a path isn't enough for you??

I have a friend who is a hard-core athlete. In her spare time she likes to teach fitness classes at a gym.  She asked me to go to her spin class the other night.  I said "sure", never having gone to a spin class, but thinking it would be a good workout.  Like I said, she is hard-core and very competitive.  I should have known that she would teach a class that would not be for sissies.

It started out easy enough: just sit on the bike and pedal.  Excellent.  Then the music started and suddenly it was all:

Hmm, well ok, I guess I can do that.

Then after about ten seconds I heard it again:

Well hold on now, I thought I just did...say, is there a delayed echo in here?

  But, we just...

  Um, excuse me? Do what now?? 

At this point we were about 2.16 minutes (I'm guesstimating) into an hour-long class, and my legs had turned to Jell-O.

I was alternating between turning beet-red

and nauseated-green.

I felt like I was sweating yet I'm pretty sure the flames shooting out of my skin took care of any pesky *moisture* issues.

And then I heard:

Um, no thanks.  I was afraid of what would come out of my mouth if I opened it at that moment.  It would be either:

A string of obscenities that would make me sound possessed.


My lunch.  

Or possibly both (there's a visual for ya).  So I kept my mouth closed and focused on breathing and staying upright on the seat.

Now, for the more astute readers, you may be saying to yourself:  "But Julie (that's my real name, for those of you who don't know me in the real world), you were in a spin class, ergo, you were on a stationary bike,

ergo, staying upright on the seat, a.k.a. *balancing*, should be a non-issue."

Well, you would be wrong.  Or you just wouldn't know me very well.  

You see, at well-choreographed points during the class, the teachers (did I mention there were two of them?) would ask us to sit back, take our hands off the handlebars, and...

Now, is it just me, or does everyone's badonk slink forward the second they sit upright on a bike, like yay? 

So I was sliding down and hunching over like a turtle so I didn't lose saddle contact, and I was expected to put my arms behind my head.


I did manage to survive the class *and* not slide off.  And, when the teacher asked the class to praise ourselves for something we did well, I was able to come up with two things:

Number One:  Not vomiting!


and, Numero Dos:  Not Passing Out!

Cue applause.

Oh, and the studio was at the top of the stairs.  Since my leg muscles were beyond muscle confusion (let's call it muscle *stupor*), I saw that "walking down the stairs" was not really an option.

Athletic stance to the rescue!!  With a bit of a slant.

P.S. I have mad respect for these spinners.

So, do any of you normal people out there go to spin class?

We will return to our regularly scheduled post next week when we discuss HOW TO DESTROY ALL YOUR HARD WORK IN UNDER AN HOUR


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