21 November 2011

Strength Training

Last Monday at 6am, I was doing this:

OK, they are a bit nicer at Team Z boot camp.

And I proceeded to feel like this until about Thursday:

Team Z has a boot camp on Monday mornings. Stupid me, I'd never actually taken advantage of it before last week. I want 2012 to be a great season and I've always been a bit of a slacker when it comes to strength training. There are several reasons (as will be explained below) why I'm finally getting my lazy butt to boot camp, and one of them being Get Stronger because stronger typically equals better fitness and ability to maintain form and race faster.

Anyway, can I just tell you, I was completely naiive when I thought about how difficult boot camp actually would be. "Ha," I figured, "I've done an Ironman, I think I can handle an hour of strength training." When I could barely hobble out of the room an hour later, I figured now might be a good time to eat crow and take back ALL my thoughts and bravado. My co-worker and fellow Team Z'r, Janine, was also at boot camp that fateful Monday AM and we spent the next two days calling each other as soon as we arrived at the office. No greetings, no how are you's. Simply:
"Can you walk like a normal person yet?"
"No. Can you?"
"No. I feel like I put my legs through a meat grinder. I'm thinking about rolling myself in my desk chair to my next meeting so I don't have to try and stand up."
"Even trying to stay upright on my yoga ball is painful."

And so it went. I approached this morning's boot camp with more than a little trepidation. I wouldn't say that today's hour of hurts-so-good torture was any easier than last week's; just that I was smart and stretched over the past week, did a few squats so my legs wouldn't go into full PTSD mode this morning when we surely would be doing more than our fair share of squats, and was fully prepared to feel the burn. And I'm happy to say that I can walk like a normal person, I enjoyed every minute of boot camp, and I'm so glad I've started going. I basically suck doing strength training on my own. I'll be in the basement with my TRX, totally distracted by the TV, and taking rest breaks and moving on to a different exercise when things start to feel just a little uncomfortable. At boot camp, you have peer pressure to keep up, to not stop, to keep doing squats, leg lifts, planks, pushups (damn pushups!) far past when you normally would've cried uncle if you were alone.

Want to hear something funny? Here you go: in a matter of weeks, I will be helping Kerri Kramer lead the Monday AM boot camps. She's been a great teacher so far, but unfortunately she cannot cannot magically grant me upper body strength - I sadly discovered while trying to do pushups during boot camp last week that my upper body strength is kind of nonexistent. This is a problem that I'm going to need to fix stat because a boot camp leader who falls flat on her face during her 5th pushup is what one might call ineffective and uninspiring. So, Operation Do-More-Than-Five-Pushups has begun. Reaching my goal will take baby steps, but I'm already claiming a small victory today: not walking like a geriatric after boot camp.