Time to Procrastinate

Full disclosure: I'm blogging to procrastinate right now. My new Garmin 310x uber-watch is staring at me, waiting to be programmed.  Begging, in fact.  Coach Gerardo is begging too.

Full disclosure:  I've had this watch for about two weeks.  It's still in the original box.  Anat likes to point this out regularly.

Tonight I've made some progress though.  All the parts are out of the box and now I simply need to download the appropriate software.  Yet I feel like the kid in that online car buying TV commercial (no, I don't fast-forward past all commercials, I'm actually an ad geek) where he can perform open heart surgery with a ballpoint pen but is frightened by the prospect of choosing the right vehicle.

I can run with bulls, sky dive or complete a triathlon... but I'm stymied by complicated-looking technology.

This from a guy who works at a video games developer.

To be fair, the actual set-up looks pretty harmless. Download some software, upload my vital stats, sync my heart-rate monitor and I'm done.  At least that's how the manual reads.

But the watch itself, well, it looks like something Batman should wear, not me.  I'm still searching for the hidden button that deploys the grappling hook.  And with all the features it sports, I'm afraid I'll try to get off the treadmill before it's time to do so and the belt will speed up uncontrollably, followed by, "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Ryan."

So, that's why I'm procrastinating.  My life may depend on it!

I'll let you know how the set-up goes tomorrow.  I've got a blog to write now.

My schedule called for a brick workout today, spinning with hill climbs for 45 minutes followed immediately by a 30-minute tempo run with hill climbing to elevate my heart-rate to zone 4 (168 bpm).  I woke up at 6 to do it, crossing the darkened, bustling Sepulveda Pass to Equinox -- Gym of the Gods.  (My guest pass membership is expiring.  I am sad.)

The workout itself was uneventful, which is a victory since that meant I wasn't sore at all from Sunday's half-marathon.  Judging by my soaked clothes though, it was a productive workout nonetheless.  I'm finding that I need to work harder to elevate my heart-rate to the zones specified in my training schedule.  In other words, my heart is growing stronger, as is my endurance.  That feels good.

The real highlight of the day was seeing my blog featured in KNBC-LA news anchor (and now friend) Chris Schauble's "Iron News Man" blog.  To read that I'm truly inspiring others and they like what I'm writing -- it's almost overwhelming.  My blog is a labor of love, a "pay it forward" gift to my future family.  But it's becoming bigger than that, thanks to the people who read and contribute energy to it.

That energy is now adding fuel to my every pedal stroke, swim rotation and running stride.  It's permeating into my work, and my personal life.  I am growing stronger, faster, better.  I owe it to the collective energy of my friends and family, and for having an outlet such as this to dive deeply into my consciousness without fear of ridicule, embarrassment or rejection.

Thank you.

Now if only I can get one of you to program my watch.

286 days and counting.

Equinox: Gym of the Gods

There is a spa masquerading as a gymnasium, nay, a Valhalla, where your every possible fitness want and need is catered to.

It is the gym of the gods.
It is called Equinox.
Massage? Check. Lap pool? Check. Spin cycles? Check. Eucalyptus-scented cold towels? Check. Sauna? Check. Kiehl's soap products in the showers? Yep, got that too.
I have never been to a gym quite like Equinox. And I've been to a lot of gyms over the years. Anat is a member there and invited me to join her early this morning since we both had a swim scheduled in our respective training programs.
Equinox is so impressive that 5:30 a.m. actually can't come soon enough should I train there again. The locker rooms are luxurious. The equipment is cutting edge. Attendants leave you towels by the pool deck. And the view at the Westwood facility, located in my old office space when I worked at Porter Novelli, is spectacular.
What a morning! What a workout.
Today's training was actually fairly tame but still productive. I did 45 minutes of cadence-based swimming, and lowered my strokes per minute down to 48 at one point. This was two strokes less than the last time I tried this, though both Anat and I were contemplating whether the lanes felt closer to 20 yards rather than the customary 25. Following the swim, I spun on the stationary bike for another 45 minutes, with five, three-minute intervals in zone 3 heart-rate. Somewhat surprisingly, this drill was harder than expected. I was pretty well spent by the fifth interval.
Once I completed the brick workout, I was almost saddened that it was time to leave for work. The steam room beckoned. A massage too. I couldn't tell if I was at Burke Williams or a gym. The thought crossed my mind to skip work and hang out at Equinox. So, I settled for a shower that was more refreshing than my own at home, complete with cedar-plank floors and all the best soap products.
Yes, I realize how metro sexual I sound right about now.
And I totally don't care. If you've been to Equinox, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Tomorrow is my day off from training. I may just head back to Equinox and try to sneak in. If there's a nap room open at night so I can escape Trudy and Bam-Bam's pounding, I'm checking into the Hotel Equinox, and you better bring a team of ninjas to check me out. Because I'm not going to go quietly.
307 days and counting.