Sunday, July 31, 2011

Looking for a Gym

When I first moved to Madison in 2005, my husband (then boyfriend) already belonged to a large gym and I just added myself to his plan. I was added with a new 2 year contract. Once that contract was up for renewal, I renewed for another 2 years. At that point, husband and I were going to the gym maybe 1-2 times per week, often times less. As contracts came up for renewal a second time, we didn't renew them. We determined we weren't utilizing the facility enough to justify spending over $60/month.  We haven't had a gym membership for 3 years, which was generally fine because I wasn't very physically active. I mean, I knew it was the healthy thing to do but I hadn't really made it a a habit.

Now that it has become a habit, I start to look for alternatives to my running and cycling outside, especially when the weather becomes crappy in the winter, or on days when it rains or is just too damn hot outside.  I am also starting a new weight lifting program based off the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I am joining a challenge organized by Jen over at PriorFatGirl. (During her last challenge, between cycling, walking and jogging, I finished over 50 miles in two weeks) The lifting program does give me options for lifting at home but I do not have all of the equipment and I'm not about to go out and buy it all. So another reason to find a new gym would be to have full access to weights. My hubby would want to find a place that has a hot tub, steam room, and a pool.

Here are my options for gyms in the Madison area, that are within a short driving distance of home and work:

Gold's Gym
Anytime Fitness  (no pool)
Snap Fitness (no pool)
Pinnacle Fitness

My question is, does/has anyone used these gyms, what do you or don't you like about them and would you recommend it? I am trying to decide if it's worth the money to pick up a gym membership again or if I should just continue working out at home.

Thanks ahead of time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It Hurts!

Yesterday I was so motivated! I wanted to work out twice yesterday and I felt great while I was doing it. I put in 2.3 miles of walk/jog and 17 miles in the afternoon of biking. Like I said, it was great and I felt great while I was doing it. I was feeling great until this afternoon.

In one of my many walks from the teller line to my desk, about 20 feet, a pain started in my right knee. "Ah damn" was my first thought. What the crap did I do to my knee. I tested it. It only hurt when I twisted it a little, or didnt step straight. It still hurts tonight. I didnt do any exercise tonight. I also don't plan on doing any tomorrow. I'm hopeful that the two days off will be enough for my knee to recover. I don't really want to go to the doctor because its only the first day of pain.

Does anyone have some good advice or experience I can pull from? Like I said, I plan on relaxing for the next couple of days.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

To Eat or Not to Eat?

I typically do my work for Couch to 5k in the morning before work because that is when I have the most energy and I feel great through out the rest of the day. Most of the time, I get out of bed, get dressed, eat a bowl of cereal, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then I hit the pavement and I usually feel pretty good.

I was watching reruns of the Dr. Oz show where he was talking about the best times to wake up, eat, workout, etc, throughout a day. His advice was to wake up, do your morning stuff, and then workout without eating before. I found this so odd because I had always thought I would want food in my belly to have energy to get through the running. Well, Tuesday morning I hit the pavement without eating anything before. I don't really go any further than 2.5 miles when I workout so I was pretty sure I would make it through. I actually felt pretty good while I was running. I didn't feel like I had any less energy than when I do eat.

Most of what I have been reading up on this says that whether to eat or not to eat really depends on the person and the work out. So my question to you is, do you eat before you work out in the morning or not?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get Out, Get Out, Get Out!

A few weeks ago, our good friend Jay from the PriorFatPack, took a digger on his bike and his head hit the pavement pretty hard. His helmet saved him from a head injury and maybe something much worse!

I tell my husband "All the cool kids are doing it" when it comes to wearing a bike helmet and they are! If you look at all the professional racers, they all wear one. Sure, almost every bike race requires them but still everyone wears them when they train. It was not cool to wear a helmet when I was growing up. I would find every opportunity, which were few, to not wear my helmet. I would usually get caught and would be grounded by my dad, so I usually just kept it on. I laugh a little and shake my head now when I see families that are enjoying the weather on two wheels where all the kids have helmets on but not a single parent is protected! What is the child going to do when the parent has a brain injury?

Another thing that really bothers me is how people wear their helmets. If you really want to protect your brain, wear that helmet correctly.  See the following image if you need some help.

Kinda outdated but it works!
The title of this entry...I needed a ride after work.  It was really stressful today and I just need to get my legs pumping hard and get the blood flowing. The path by our house is lined with wild flowers so it's not uncommon to have various bugs hit my legs and arms as I ride. I had a few of those before a big bee decided it would like to fly into my helmet and insert itself in my hair. Well, it decided it didn't like it there very much and decided to stick it's stinger in my scalp. I had a great time trying to get my helmet off at 18mph and break at the same time! I was riding with the helmet strap in my teeth while my fingers were working their way through my hair, just trying to get the damn bee out of my hair and away from my scalp. I don't remember the last time I was stung by a bee and had no idea if I would have a severe allergy reaction to it. I also forgot how much it hurts! I relaxed for a bit after I realized the bug was gone and hopefully dead. No reaction happened so I popped my helmet back on and kept riding. The spot stung for most of my ride and is throbbing now. It is a painful reminder of an otherwise great ride.

So even though helmets can be great traps for bees, they will save your head from damage! They aren't badly priced at $35 for a good helmet!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Only 80 Days!

Happy July 4th!

Rhythm & Booms 2011 from Memorial Union
There are only 80 days left before my first duathon! It really hit me when my sister and mom came down to visit last weekend. My sister was down here to do a training run of the Iron Man route. She had made a comment about a few of the people doing the bike loops. Some of the people were only able to do the 40 mile loop. If they were unable to atleast do the 80 mile loop by now, they were going to be hurting by the time the race came around at the beginning of September. This got me thinking, am I really ready for my race? I hadn't gotten any road miles in that were more than 17. My ride in September is 22 miles! I know it's not terribly far but I should know that I can do that in under the time limit of 2.5 hours, right? Oh and I can't forget that I have to do that after running two miles, which I still can't do ( I am frustrated about that ). I did get in a 18 mile ride on Saturday, on mostly flat trail. I then did 20.75 miles today on roads. Boy, that was a hard one with some of the hills I came up to. I did walk my bike on one hill but stayed on for the rest of the hills.

I have to start working in some of those brick workouts. I know I can't run the required two miles but who really cares at this point? I know I can finish. I just have to get off the bike in 2.5 hours, which I'm pretty sure I can do.

I stopped by a sports store today to see if they had any tri-shorts. They did...they had one pair, size small...yea right! I will just have to start looking online to order them. I also need to buy another water bottle. I ran out of water about three miles from home today. I also need to start looking at some fuel for my rides. Any suggestions?

I've been so inspired this week by some of my friends that have completed some goals in the past few weeks. Trinona and a half marathon! You guys keep pushing me to train.

Oh and yay for long weekends followed  by a four day work week!