Treadmills, Trainers, Towels…..Oh My!

The dead of winter…….Yup!  Even here in sunny St. George.  If you can believe it, our neighbor’s yard STILL has snow from last Monday.  That is unheard of down here.  Definitely tells you even our little winter oasis has been pretty cold.  Unfortunately for an athlete in training that equals INDOOR TRAINING 🙂

I love the cooler weather of winter.  SO MUCH better than the 100+ degrees we suffer through for 4 months every summer.  But, it is getting cold.  I did my long run last Friday and returned home with frost on my shoulders.  I haven’t had that happen since I was running in the far colder temperatures of Cedar City (45 minutes North of St. George and much higher in altitude) 3 years ago.  There was definitely no need for an ice bath after this long one.  You couldn’t pay me to turn the hot water off during my post-workout shower.  Running in the cold can be a little uncomfortable but usually doable.  Running speed work goes much better for me indoors this time of year, but the majority of the time I stick to the great, dark, outdoors.  Now when you consider riding a bike……

Outdoor riding has just not been happening for me.  I don’t have the luxury of riding in the middle of the day most of the time (I hear you get in A LOT of trouble if you leave your kids home alone during nap time).  It is dark in the morning and it is dark in the early evening.  That leaves me with squeezing in some mid-day outdoor riding every few Saturdays.  Most of the time…..indoor training it is.

I actually love to ride my indoor trainer.  Most cyclists would rather poke their eye with a pin than ride on their indoor trainer, but that is not me.  Over the last year I began doing high intensity indoor cycling training (H.I.T.) twice a week during the winter months.  I LOVE IT!  You have control over your environment to accomplish drills and intervals that you could not safely do out on the road (you shouldn’t work so hard your eyes cross when you are on the road).  After a full season of H.I.T. last year, I found myself in GREAT race shape right out of the gate in early Spring.  This year, I’ve involved some other serious cyclists and the Washington City Community Center and we are going to suffer through the workouts as a group.  It is going to be great!   There is nothing better than pushing yourself to the limit in the company of amazing talent.  Bring on the towels 🙂

This weekend I got lucky and snuck in a 3.5 hour ride with my good friend on Saturday.  1:30 p.m truly is a perfect time to ride.  Too bad about that whole nap-time-possible-arrest thing 🙂  Neither of us had been out for a few weeks and once we figured out how to control our bikes on the road again…….We were off.  It was chilly, but beautiful.  We headed out West of town toward Gunlock reservoir and encountered more snow than we ever saw last year on this same ride.  The ride wasn’t about pushing any limits, just letting the pedals spin and getting in some good conversation.  Both of us had completed long runs the day before so the legs weren’t fresh anyway.  Just a good day to get in some good aerobic mileage and that’s what we did.  I was so grateful to just be out and even enjoyed the sun through the breaks in the clouds.

So the winter continues and so does the training.  January is here and it is time to be serious about what I’m preparing for in 2011.  14-weeks of H.I.T. and hopefully some long rides every other weekend or so.  3 days a week of running with long runs preparing for the Boston Marathon in April and Ogden in May.  Starting some nice aerobic workouts in the pool and hoping to increase my pool time to 3 or 4 hours a week this year (I slack in this sport and really need to pick it up).  The biggest challenge starts tomorrow as my husband and I are going to “Commit to Be Fit” with Coach Keanna’s Nutrition Challenge (for more on this see my previous blog).

Next up:  People who make me proud!

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