Say It Ain’t So, Joe

It has been just over 72 hours since my last PT appointment, and I’m over the psychological moment and can now type about it.

Well, no. It isn’t that bad. I’m headed into my fourth appointment tomorrow, and I am getting the hang of what I have to do: check in, do my “warm up” exercises (which are something of a cross between pilates, ballroom dancing, and the modified shopping cart), “massage” my IT bands (twang!), and then have someone mess with them and then some iontophoresis  (that electrode thingy). Easy-peasy, yes?

Look, all of that is just ducky– the pilates-cum-ballroom dancing is fun –but that IT band messing that someone else does? That is sheer hell.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet Joe. Joe was the purveyor of hell on Monday.

Joe is likely my age, because he totally caught my Top Gun reference (he called me Maverick, I told him “negative Ghostrider the pattern is full”). Joe looks like that tennis pro at the club that will totally teach you tennis and take it easy on you and you totally know he’s taking it easy on you.

Joe has sharp elbows. I know this, because part of physical therapy for twangy IT bands? Is to rub them out. With an elbow. Laterally.

This feels something akin to someone giving you a very deep bruise, very slowly, along the outside of your thighbone. After about 2-3 minutes on each side, you are very certain of two things: 1, you don’t ever want to do that again, and 2, that you will be black and blue in seconds.

Joe knows how to not leave marks, which is why we are hoping Joe never breaks out a bar of soap and a sock.

The other negative side of PT (as of late) is because I’m allergic to the leukotape, I have to wait until my skin heals to work out in any way that challenges my knees. So, no Cyntergy, no pilates, no spin class, no running. I am left, essentially, with swimming. Swimming is good — aside from the semi-permanent eau de chlorine that lingers after a session — but it’s gear (and time) intensive. I mean, to get a good 500 calories burned, you go to one (1) 45 minute spin class and you’re done.  You can run some errands in your gym gear, and then shower at home. To get a good 500 calories burned swimming, you need to swim for about an hour, and you must shower before getting into the pool, and then you need to uber-shower when getting out of the pool. Unless you want to soak your car in that same eau de chlorine (there was a time that I did that, to my old ’81 Volvo), you shower at the gym, which necessitates waiting on others who shower at the gym, including small children.  Total time at gym, 2 hours.

All of this, and the Run/Walk/Limp is now officially 8 weeks away, and the STP is about 15. Nervous, me?

No. 🙂


Chlorine is put in pools to sanitize it — it bonds to the gunk you leave behind (you do know you leave behind gunk, right?) and turns the gunk into organic  “Chloramines“, which sounds so much nicer than gunk.  Those organic compounds then ostensibly get filtered out so we can all go enjoy the pool.

Chlorinated pool water tastes awful, by the way.

I checked out the Mercer Island pool this morning (at 6:30 AM, yo!) and did some laps; as I suspected I am woefully out of swim shape. While I actually can be faster (with my lap time I could get a half mile done in 16 minutes!) I don’t have the endurance (that would be 16 minutes plus another 16 worth of breaks!) and I have but four weeks (oh, slightly less now) to get that in gear.

I will note that the Mercer Island pool has just enough chlorine to sanitize and not so much that it makes your eyes horribly red; and unlike the LA Fitness in Bellevue it does appear as though they clean it occasionally. The locker rooms leave much to be desired — body consciousness is not a privilege you have there — but they are serviceable. There are actually seven (7) signs in the locker room reinforcing basic hygiene (wash your hands, wash your kids butt after diaper changes and before putting them in the pool, and – I kid not – do not let a kid with diarrhea swim).

Biking is still my favorite.

Swim Bike Run… more Bike, less Swim and Run?

Today I went on a lovely figure-8 jaunt of Lake Union with Ms. Krieant that featured brunch at Dish. I could rave about Dish, and I should, given that a garden omelette with eggbeaters was clearly so awesome that I scarfed it in seconds (note: Dish does not take cards. I do not carry cash. The bar next door has a cash machine, and sells Bitburger. Ok that’s enough plug there.)

Biking is now my favorite of the three pieces of a tri. Running is to the state where I am having to tape, and whine, and I suspect new shoes will be purchased and ibuprofen and glucosamine will feature as regular items in my morning routine. Swimming is not hot either, what with the hair messiness of it all (I just got it did, okay?) Also, swimming isn’t nearly as social. If you think it is, I invite you to go swimming laps with a friend and carry on a conversation. And I don’t think you can bring your tunes with you.

I am realizing though how much better a day is with *some* form of exercise. It’s better than coffee… (yes, I really did just say that).

Glub Glub

Very little in my life is safe from the rationalization that an Excel spreadsheet offers. Within rows and columns, little formulas and “if” statements valiantly try to take the somewhat-partial data I have and render a decision for me. The spreadsheets are rarely seen by anyone other than myself, as it would be akin to airing my entire thought process — even those thoughts that you don’t tell anyone you have but you actually have. I have a coefficient for budget splurges based on average monthly temperature, for example.

The spreadsheet has had me purchase a triathlon wetsuit. I’m totally blaming the spreadsheet.

Renting a triathlon wetsuit is $40 for a six-day span (Thurs-Tues). Purchasing a decent one is about $160. I have 6  weekends of swimming ahead of me, and more if I end up doing the Black Diamond. $240 being patently more money than $160, I caved.

Would that it were that easy to get back in the water again. Swimming laps in a pool is a semi-boring chore that offers at least the diversion of the occasional mouthful of chlorinated water. Swimming in the open water means that occasional mouthful is of something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike water. There are *things* floating in there. It doesn’t taste good. 

The thing is,  having done a tri before, I’m shirking more than I ought. Even though my first few runs have been at a pathetic pace, I’m still in the “oh three miles no big deal it’s not like I have to actually *train* or anything” mindset, and this is naturally extending to my lack of workouts (only 2 in the last 4 days) and thusly the scale making noises at me.

I need to build a spreadsheet for that, I think.