On Workouts

The Empty Nest Man Workout: It’s All About Focus, Baby, Focus

It’s time to get busy again.

Winter has passed, warmer temperatures are coming, the bike and the pool are calling my name. No more half-hearted indoor workouts or recumbent bike rides. No more jogging in place.

A key to working out at this point in life is remembering to stretch. STRRRRRETCH. Go ahead and take my advice. I’m not using it.

The closest thing I get to a stretch are a series of kata moves I do prior to working out to get the blood pumping and my legs and arms ready to go. Then it’s time to hit it hard.

Queen Gwen is just the opposite. When we go for walks, she’ll stretch a good fifteen minutes before we hit the track. I don’t blame her; she had a really bad case of plantar fasciitis last year and doesn’t want to revisit it.

So when we walk we stretch.

You know your body a whole lot better than I do. Do what you gotta do and then get after it.

A typical workday workout for me involves these elements:

  • Some type of weightlifting. Heavy day followed by a light day.
  • Some type of aerobic–walking integrated into the weightlifting or biking after lifting.

A typical weekend workout for me involves these elements:

  • Walking while doing arm work with lightweight dumbbells
  • Jogging
  • At least a half hour on a stationary trainer bike
  • Swimming when warm enough

I try to go at it six days a week this time of year, leaving Friday evenings open for a date night with Queen Gwen.

The year before last I got into tri-training. I had dabbled with it before, but trying to ride a bike out on the road or jogging around here, is taking your own life in your hands.

After installing an eight-foot privacy fence and getting a stationary trainer took all my excuses away. There is an 0.0735 mile distance around the perimeter of the yard. Forty-two laps are a 5K. Eight-four laps are a 10K. 357 laps are a marathon.

Two years ago I did a sprint triathlon. Half mile swim, 15-mile bike ride, 3 mile run.

Last year, I did an Olympic length triathlon. A mile swim, 25 mile bike ride, 6.2 mile run.

This year, it’s the Half Ironman. Swim: 1.2 miles. Bike: 56 miles. Run: 13 miles.

My bowels get gurgly just thinking about those distances.

But if anything, life in the empty nest has taught me you’ve got to push yourself. At least I’ve got to push myself. Otherwise, complacency is waiting around the corner to swallow me whole.

You may ask: Did that old codger really do those distances?

Yes. Several times in fact.

Did he really run a race?

No. I could care less about racing. This is about pushing me. I don’t care if anyone sees it or records it.

Besides, as I like to tell Queen Gwen, “I would have finished dead last if I had raced today, but I didn’t finish dead.”

So that’s the skinny on the workouts for 2017.

That’s about the only thing that’s skinny around here.

I’m starting training today on March 15. I tipped the scales at 214 today.

A typical triathlon athlete weighs about 135 lbs. A clydesdale division athlete (the big boys) tops out at 175 lbs.

I figure I’ve got to drop about 50 lbs this summer if I ever want to consider a real race. That’s a big commitment. And I do like my occasional chili dog.

What the hell? I’m going to give it my best shot.

Because if I make this year (and don’t die trying), next year is the Ironman. If I can get in good enough shape to do the Ironman, I’m thinking seriously about trying the real thing.

At least that’s my athletic BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for this empty nest phase of life.

We’ll record the workouts and the progress on the blog. I’ll either make it, or my empty nest friends can watch me crash and burn.

This ought to be fun…

Photo Credit: Lemuel Butler