The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Friday, November 06, 2009

My Indoor Iron Miles Challenge

In my world of a commuter, changing the clocks marks the beginning of the indoor season. I have not abandoned outdoor activities on weekends, but the shorter daylight hours and colder weather means that the gym is often the best option. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because the gym imposes a more consistent routine on my life. My life has been quite inconsistent, almost chaotic for the past 6 weeks and I have neglected to keep many of my “healthy habits” in play. I have also felt adrift. After completing the Rhode Island Century in September, I have struggled to find the motivation to work out. Certainly part of that was burnout. But part of it is just not having a goal. “Being healthy” only gets me so far. I need to commit to something bigger, a target, to keep my wheels turning.

I have decided I want to get back to triathlons next year. And the training starts now, with My Indoor Iron Miles Challenge (MIIMC). How long will it take me to accumulate the distances of an Ironman—2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles cycling, 26 miles running. How many cycles of Iron Miles can I complete in the next 6 months (November-April). Now since I have invented this challenge, I can also invent all the rules that will govern it. The swimming is the most straightforward. Get in the pool and count laps. The biking is a bit more complicated because I do 95% of my indoor riding in spin class. So I will convert to mileage based on the assumption that I ride 12-14 mph (yes, I am THAT SLOW). Running is the most difficult because my knees cannot tolerate that pounding. I have to cross train. Once again I will supplement running with other cardio and convert based on time, using 4.5-5.0 mph.

My Indoor Iron Miles Challenge kicked off on Tuesday with a spin class. I felt my lack of cardio over the past 6 weeks—my heart rate was higher than typical and I kept looking at the clock to gauge whether I could sustain the effort. But I went with the music and nailed down my first 13 miles. Today I used the arc trainer to warm up for my weight training, so I put down 1 mile of “running.” Only 99 more miles on the bike, 25 more miles on my feet, and 2.4 miles in the pool to complete my first cycle of MIIMC.

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