Saturday, February 1, 2014

Going into a Gym. We really don't live in Oregon, anymore!

So between the polar vortex that has keep temps around here in the teens, the uncleared snow-and-ice caked sidewalks, and the short days, I've been inside a LOT. I realized, these past few weeks, how spoilt I was in Oregon.  Between the snowshoeing, the hiking, the biking, the running, I literally could be outside 12 months a year.

All the photos below are from last WINTER.

Here is a nice Saturday off in Oregon.  Sun hunting!

Feeling stressed?  No, you really aren't anymore.  Afternoon stroll. 

Funnest friends ever!  That is major snow. (Which they don't have this year.  Scary drought!)

Let's just say that is something I am really, really missing this year.  I miss those beautiful forests and being able to get outside.  I miss the sense of freedom I could get from being in the forests.  If I was having a tough sermon or a bad day, a quick amble around the Ridgeline trail would cure what ails me.

There's so many reasons why it was the right thing to move back, but I feel prickly that I don't have the option of heading to a morning's ramble in a rainforest.

 The temps here are as much as 20 degrees colder than Oregon, and the traffic is much more intense.  The daylight is actually longer, but it's not helping me when I haven't yet found running, biking, or swimming buddies to go out and learn new roads with.  (Even though I've lived here before, I'm in a different area of the Beltway, so I have to learn all new roads and new entrances to the bike trails.)

We started exploring area gyms, thinking that belonging to a gym might be useful for us.  We'd been committed users in the past, so we knew we'd actually use a membership.  It would be a good expense.

Turns out our apartment, thanks to a facilities renovation, was offering complimentary gym memberships for the first signers!  Off we went for a five month free membership at a nearby Crunch.

So far: I really like the weight room.  I had let strength training slide the last few years, focusing on TRX and body weight exercises.  That's fantastic, if I have a team to keep me on track.  Without my team, I have no work ethic.  I miss you, MSA!

The gym has these machines that I have really liked in the past- weight machines that move with you- as you lift, the platforms move.  It reminds me to engage my core, and it also feels more comfortable than a static machine.  I feel more like I can protect myself from injury.  There's even a neat rope pulling machine!

I was shocked- in a bad way- about how much strength I've lost this year.  As the enforced rest period ended in December (my doctor, after my 70.3, said "OK, now no major workouts.  You need to heal!" so I was given instructions that I wasn't supposed to work out more than 45 minutes, easy, for the rest of the year!), I've been more than ready to get back into the mix.

I think I'll take advantage of the free trainer sessions and have the trainer set me up on some strength programs.  I feel comfortable on my own for cardio, but having someone to check in on me for strength will be good.

By the time I get outside for good later in the year, I want to be back to my normal, speedy self!

In other news, REI continues to be awesome.  My heart rate monitor watch was malfunctioning, and after going through two Timex pieces, I wasn't really in the mood to keep trying.  So I had a chat with REI about my options, and will be trying out a Polar.  We shall see how it does!  At some point, I'd like to jump into the Garmin Forerunner options, with GPS and wireless connectivity and all that jazz, but for now, my budget demands I stick with options closer to what I had.  My old Timex had a stopwatch and could time a workout and give me simple lap splits.  It was sufficient unto the day, combined with my iPhone for GPS and distance.

It was fun to be at REI- we talked with an employee who is also a triathlete, and had a little Pacific Northwest lovefest with another employee who turned out to be a Seattle transplant.  :-)  Those of us who have been lucky enough to live out in the PNW… it changes us.  It gets into our bones, I think.

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