Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Athletic Update

Photo: Gino, Flickr Creative Commons

Monday was a severely overcast day. We made it through tennis practice without any falling moisture, but by the time I switched into my running shoes, cued up the GPS and Runkeeper on my phone, and plugged Radiolab into my ears there was a very fine mist coming down. I had to will myself to go run. It would have been easy to have given myself the excuse to just go home and pass up the day's workout. I couldn't see for most of the run because it was only like 50 and wet so when the mist didn't obscure my view, the fogging of glasses heated from behind by my body heat and chilled from the front by the damp and cold kept me from seeing anything. I'm glad I didn't quit. Despite the annoyances, I posted a 23 minute, 40 second 5k time. This was huge. A year ago, I was doing good to finish that distance in 30 minutes. Since then, I've taken 2 minutes and 20 seconds off of my per-mile pace, more than half of that since this January when I started running with that Runkeeper app.

This is a pretty exciting thing for me. Last year, I was thrilled to make the G starting wave of the Peachtree Road Race. This year, I'll be starting in the D wave based on my official time from a race where I RAN OVER THE TALLEST BRIDGE IN GEORGIA. TWICE. If I had been able to run a flat course race this weekend and have had it count for the Peachtree, I'd actually be starting in the B starting wave. I honestly didn't think I'd ever be able to run that distance this quickly last summer. Yes, I know a couple of you who still read this blog could still beat me, but screw you. Let me enjoy my relative success. Until the last month, my goal for this year's Peachtree was to finish in under an hour. My time last year was an hour and two minutes, so that seemed a reasonable goal. Now, my goal is to cross the finish line in less than 51 minutes.

Moving on to triathlon news (Seriously, who am I?), I finally located a road bike for the bike leg of the Turtle Crawl in May. I just happened to mention to a fellow teacher who I knew did a lot of serious biking that I was doing a triathlon and asked if he knew anyone who might have a spare road bike that I could borrow. The person he suggested is actually a cousin of mine. Not even that, it's a cousin who is almost exactly my size (except with a thinner build). Turns out this cousin had actually been into doing triathlons before he hurt his back not too long ago. Before his injury he had replaced his really nice road bike with an even nicer triathlon bike, so he had a bike, probably nicer than I'd be willing to afford, just hanging in his garage unused, meaning I could borrow it for two months for the race without causing him any inconvenience. Unfortunately, I've had it for two days and haven't been able to ride the damn thing. I picked it up after my killer run on Monday and didn't ride it because it was raining and because I had to figure out how to inflate tires with a presta valve, which I didn't know existed until that day. Tuesday's ride was killed off by a tennis match lasting until dark. Today we may all drown. If it stops raining early enough on Thursday, I may go for a ride then. The rain is killing my workouts this week, but if we didn't get some soon I was going to lose my training pond. It was already down to shallower than waist deep in some parts.

As for the swimming, I'm up to about 300 yards of a steady pace without stopping. I'm swimming a third of a mile every swim day, but I'm having to take a break in the middle. Now I just have to finish the entire session without a break and I'm golden. I can't really brag about my swimming yet, but it's improving in a hurry.

But really who cares. I'm 27 lbs lighter than I was a little more than a year ago and I'm 17 lbs lighter than I was starting this year. I'll never be really competitive in any of these sports, but I'll still feel better about myself, at least until I suck it up and buy new pants. I'm having trouble keeping my old ones up. I hate spending money on clothes.


Julie said...

There's always someone out there who can do it better but rest assured that if a bear were to start chasing the two of us, I'd be the meal. There's always someone slower, too, you see. They just may not be around if you get chased by a bear.

Jacob said...

Yeah, from hiking with Mickey so many times, I've come to realize that if speed or general fitness is the difference between one of us living and one of us dying, he walks out of the woods and I stay behind.

But, if general resistance to cold is the difference, I get to feast on his stringy flesh. Probably won't be a tasty meal, but I think the guy has potential of freezing to death on a clear 40-degree day.

Mickey said...

Dude, you need to quit comparing yourself to me. And not because I'm some out-of-reach paragon of fitness (I'm not), but because it has the potential to get creepy. Or over-inflate my already enormous ego.

But seriously- nice 5K time. Sounds like you're killing it. Since Courtney got a bike last year, I've had to put air in her tires at the gas station because I only have a presta pump. Schraeder valves are for Huffys.

Jacob said...

Dude, you're actually the only person with any observable physical activity that I can compare myself to, especially of I'm making fun of myself. Also, the readership of this blog consists entirely of people who know you, at least through your blog. You're an easy reference point.

Also, I may be subtlety mocking you.

Courtney said...

I agree that you should stop comparing yourself to Mickey, even if it's an easy reference and you're subtly mocking him. It's not a contest, unless you're actually competing in a race, in which case my money's on him. (But seriously: 27 pounds lost is awesome. Good on ya.)

Jacob said...

Holy crap. I just realized I didn't even mention Mickey in this post. Now I have no idea what you guys are making such a big deal about. Julie brings up being eaten by a bear. Who else would I have to compete against to not be eaten by a bear? I only hike in bear-infested areas with Mickey and one other guy and none of you but Mickey would know the other guy.

This was actually a natural progression of the conversation. He's the person most likely to be running with me away from a bear. This was not comparing myself to him as much as it was actually discussing an actual possibility.

I blame you, Julie. And I think Courtney is jealous. Mickey's just a dick.

Chris said...

Was trying to think of a comment, but now I'm slowly backing out of the room...