Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Team Workout

I struggled all the way home on how to write this post.  Do I hand you, the reader, a pair of rose colored glasses to view my exuberance through.  Do I go through the rah rah, go team, motions?  We’ll it may not be the PC thing to do, but I’m not going to do that.  You’re going to get me here.  The good the bad and the ugly…

So, I preface this by saying you’ll probably get a lot of background in this post that leads you might not care or want to know about – I’m adding it because I believe it’s important for you know what my ‘filters’ are when I tell a story and it gives you a better basis to form your own opions.

Alright – enough of this… On with my story.

First let’s say I don’t like being cold so I really layered myself up for this workout.  SF at night can be a bit chilly to say the least.  For legs, I started with tights – just regular ol’ off the shelf tights that you buy in the drug store.  Remember Joe Namath and his panty-hose adds.  Well I don’t know if that was just a publicity stunt but I do know that where I grew up (Wyoming) the boys on the football team wore panty-hose for warmth ALL the time – cause it works.  Then I put a light pair of yoga pants over the top,  shorty running sox and my running shoes went on my feet.  On top I girded myself with two bras – on of them a compression sports bra (to answer the unasked question a few folks had) a body armor turtle neck, my team in training shirt and then a running jacket over the top.  When I first got outside with all that on I was a little worried that it wasn’t enough, but it turned out to be just right.

So the ‘about me’ part:  Let me start by saying I really don’t enjoy the ‘unknown’; probably why I’m a project manager by trade.  I like things planned, organized and I like knowing what to expect.  This is probably made ‘worse’ by my streak of perfectionism.  I’m sure there’s a few out there who can relate.  Second, I’m navigationally challenged.  There are a lot of factors to this I suppose.  I'm not required to wear glasses to drive, but I like too because it makes it easier to read signs, plus I have a bit of night blindness so driving at night is frustrating if I need to make out details like teeny tiny street signs.    Unfortunately, my glasses were stolen recently, so driving at night means a lot of squinting and a lot of missed turns. All of this balled up together had me already stressed out about tonight, our first ‘team’ workout.  I was going to have to drive myself to a place I had never been before, in the dark, in San Francisco, and there were people counting on me to be there at a certain time.

Like a good self navigator I printed up my driving directions from google maps.  Google said it should take me about 17 minutes to get where I was going, so leaving myself a little time for wrong turns etc, I left 30 minutes early.  Well, it wasn’t enough.  Traffic was... well… San Francisco traffic.  I sat through one stop light through three cycles.  When I finally got to the last turn on my map it was already 2 minutes to show time.  CRAP!  And of course at that moment, I made a wrong turn, one that took me WAY out of my way K  I finally found the parking lot I was supposed to park in 7 minutes past the start time.  I was stressed, flustered, and a little angry.  Then the next shoe dropped.  When I pulled up to the parking attendant I was told, “Oh, you’re with team in training?  Well the track is closed, there’s an event tonight, do you still want to go in?”


What now?  I had no way to get a hold of anyone, there wasn’t a TNT person in site and I was faced with a BIG decision.  Do I wander around trying to find someone when I’m already 7 minutes late or do I just go home?  Remember how I said I hate the unknown?  Well this was right up there with really bad moments for me and part of my brain said “Screw it!  Go home!”
But I didn’t.  I took the ticket, parked my car, grabbed a few things and hustled to the track entrance.  Luckily I instantly recognized two of the people standing out front as the coaches.  I was already in a bit of a ‘bad mood’  so I didn’t take it well when I was told.  “The track is closed so we’re going to workout on the other side”


What ‘other side’ – what does that mean? 

When I asked they did explain really clearly where I needed to go but I was really off put by the ‘why don’t you already know this attitude’

So, off I hustled again to find the ‘rest’ of the crowd.  I found them without much incedent.  I had missed most of the blah blah… but got there right before the coaches took over.  That was fine with me.  They apologized about the track (yeah ok – not your faut), explained that it changed their plans a bit, but we would make do (ok fine – lets workout).  First, let’s warm-up.  Everyone – one lap around the stadium… Go. (eh what!?)

I guess being it was a ‘team’ workout I kind expected things to happen more… team like? Perhaps if it had been on the track as intended it would have been ok but instead we were each left to struggle along on the streets in the dark.  Ok – I struggled, everyone else ran K  When I decided that I would do my Weekday workouts with the San Francisco part of the team I forgot one thing.  San Francisco people are fit (sorry – they are).  I, am not.  So, being told that I needed to go out there and run nearly .75 miles for a ‘warm-up’, kinda got me to feeling bad.  OK REALLY got me to feeling bad.  Yeah I know, it’s not a competition.  But Damn-it I wanted to feel a part of something.  Instead I felt more alone the running on the streets then in my own home town.  Because I didn’t know what this workout would be like I didn’t bring some of my standard running gear like an ipod or a watch.  So I had nothing to pace myself with, nothing to distract myself with – it was just me and the road, ok sidewalk really but you get the point.  I really got balled up feeling sorry for myself too.  Luckily one of the mentors eventually caught up with me during one of my walking breaks and asked how I was doing.  She kept pace with me for a while and at least got me to stop feeling sorry for myself.  I was still a little grumpy but not feeling sorry for myself.

So I finish my first lap.  Running hadn’t been fun and walking too fast made my shins hurt but I thought I did ok.  I at least didn’t feel like I had lead legs like on Sunday.  When I caught up with everyone else again they were already explaining the workout.  I had missed 3/4ths of the explanation and no one bothered to fill me in.  I figured I could just follow the crowd and figure it out.  For the most part I did.

I did my planks as directed for my ‘strength training’ (sorry I’ve spent the past few years pretending I was a serious weight lifter – I squat 225 and bench 140 so it makes me giggle to call planks ‘strength training’) and then started out on my second lap.  The second lap was easier and loosened up enough to play a few mental games with myself.  “Keep running to that post, good now past that bench”  I was struggling a little against myself though because I really needed to answer a call of nature and when asked about a bathroom the leaders shrugged and said “Find a tree”.  Uh… no!  I suffered instead.  Most of the time I could ignore it so no biggy…  I was actually really happy with how well the second lap went.  Much easier then the first and I ran a LOT more.  Of course by the time I got to the gathering point most people were already out again.  I didn’t let that get to me and instead did my next set of strength moves – the opposite arm leg thing.  It happens to be one of those core workout moves I’m good at, so I went through it and moved on for my next lap.

As expected lap 3 was harder.  I couldn’t run as far and probably not as fast either.  I focused on not overdoing it and keeping my form good.  People passed me – some not for the first time.  There was one really nice man who at least said “Hi” or something else friendly as he passed.  He was my hero for the night and one of the reasons I kept going.  One thing that kept rolling through my head… “I’m the only one walking!”  It was starting to depress me again but I did my best not to think about it.

Next strength move was the side plank.  Again one I’m not too shabby with.  I was happy to see that at least this time the coaches seemed to be paying attention to people.  Up ‘til now other then a short explanation at the beginning they had been really hands off.  This time they were timing people by counting off seconds as they passed.  I would have liked to see them to just a little more.  I walked by one girl doing pushups so horribly that it was wonder she didn’t permanently disable herself.  Granted, my Dad is a personal trainer and I’ve trained to be one too (but have let my weight and general out of shape-ness keep me from doing it).  Between that and my background in ballet I can be a bit OCD about proper form.  But it’s not for me to walk up to someone and suggest improvements.  Probably end up embarrassing us both.  But for the coaches… I mean isn’t that why they are there?

Any who… Started on lap 4 and was really feeling all the running.  I was dragonass.  I think I walked most of the last lap – I just couldn’t seem to get my legs under me anymore!  Although I know he was trying to be nice, I kind of wanted to ‘kick’ happy man when he passed me and said “Last lap huh!?”  -  Uh no.. I’m only on 4 and we were supposed to do five!  Thanks for reminding me that EVERYONE else is a whole lap in front of me.  But I know he was being nice – and he’s still my hero for the night.

I hit the gathering area at the end of lap four and found out that YES this was my last lap.  Coaches and everyone was packing up to go home.  Secretly I was glad cause I didn’t want to push myself around another time.  I did do one more set of strength moves – push ups – before signing out and heading for my car.

So – in summary:  I did 3 miles of run/walking plus core work in about an hour.  The workout was more a mental challenge than anything.  I really need to stop letting the negative thinking get to me.  I’m glad I’m in team in training and I think this is an awesome cause but I really do hope we become more of a ‘team’ as the weeks roll on.  I could really use that.

As for nutrition… I set myself some goals for this week (My ‘diet’ week starts on Wednesdays)

1)    Drink no more than three Liters of Diet Pepsi (Yes I know it’s a lot but for me that’s cutting back) Check

2)    Drink 1 Liter of Water – I drank more then I usually do, but didn’t drink the whole liter, Yet.  Maybe I’ll go down and finish it after I’m done typing.

3)    No Sugar - yeah sugar seems to be a big ‘binge’ item for me.  If I’m going to over do it – this is usually the thing 80% of the time – Well I forgot about ‘no sugar’ and had one mini chocolate bar early in the day, but later remembered my self promise and that kept me from having any more so ½ a victory

4)    5 meals a day – Not so good here.  Need to plan better

5)    Every meal have protein and carb –Breakfast – No, Lunch – yes, Dinner – kinda (I waffle on cheese being a protein) – post workout No

6)    4 Cups of some kind of veggies (cooked or raw) – big fat 0

So I’ve got a ways to go here.  I’m really going to have to clean this up if I want to reach my race goal weight.

Alright – enough out of me!  If you made it this far… THANKS!! lol


  1. Sorry your workout didn't go as you had hoped. I've never trained with TNT but in other group training sessions I've been a part of, usually the coach does separate people into groups of similar levels so no one is ever alone or feeling left out, esp. at night when safety may be an issue. Perhaps talk to one of the coaches and tell them your concerns?

    I'm a control freak myself and if things don't go my way I can get really frustrated and flustered. But through martial arts and now triathlons I've found that the only thing I can control is myself. Each day is a work in progress and an opportunity to improve. Keep going!

  2. Hey Shawn - hang in there and don't get discouraged. Talk to your coaches - that is what they are there for. They should be working with you for an individualized training plan but they may not know that you need help unless you tell them. Sounds like a big group and it is easy to get lost in the shuffle, so let them know what you need.

    I hope that your sore throat is better soon. Art

  3. Dragonass - I LOVE that term. I'm gonna use it sometime, that's for sure!

    Hope you get feeling better soon.