A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thoughts - Presidents Day 2011 - Why Early Workouts?

OK, so today is Presidents Day. It also snowed out there this morning.

What better way to celebrate a holiday than to wake up early (5AM), venture out into the cold, brush the snow off the car and head off to the YMCA to do workouts in the pool and in the gym?

But the benefits are tremendous! No people in the pool, and only 3 people in the gym!

If I come across sounding that I hate people, then you're mistaken. I only hate some people.

I'm only joking of course, but seriously, what I hate is some peoples' behavior in the pool and in the gym. One of the reasons for getting up very early every day is to minimize my exposure to peoples' erratic behavior.

When a person constantly drifts into my side of the swim lane, I do make it known to them. Nicely, at first.

Some of the behavior I've experienced is really ridiculous. Several years back I was swimming some easy 100s in the pool. As I was swimming, I note a woman sitting by my lane, looking to get in. While I was swimming, I gradually moved over to the other side, so that we can share the lane.

As I come around, she waved a kickboard right in front of me. I stopped, and was pretty upset that she interrupted my routine.

What the woman said afterwards really got my blood boiling. She said, "I don't like the way you turn yourself at the wall (flip turn) because you'll get my hair wet."

WHAT?!!

I looked very squarely at her and said, "Lady, do you know where you're at? This is THE POOL!!! Everything gets wet here, including your precious hair. If you don't like getting your hair wet, stay away from this area!"

As an exclamation point, the next time I came around I made a particularly hard flip turn with a big splash. By the time I came around again, she was gone.

Apparently she complained to the lifeguard about what I said. Luckily, I knew the lifeguard, so we had a good chuckle about it afterward.

There are some interesting characters around the gym also.

For example, the parking lot for the gym is half-full with cars. Most of the spots closest to the gym were full, the distant lots were pretty much empty.

Every so often I see people in their cars WAITING for spots to open closer to the gym. All so they don't have to walk an extra 100 feet.

Does this make sense?

Think about it. You're going there for a workout. Don't you think walking that 100 extra feet might actually be beneficial to your fitness? The fitness lifestyle doesn't just begin when you walk inside that gym, people. And it shouldn't end when you leave either.

Life at 5AM at the pool and at the gym is good. I figure that only the serious fitness people get up at that time.

Heck, waking up early is half the battle, and only those people serious about their fitness will wake up at that time. 

All the people at the pool and gym in the early hours are dedicated people, and so the erratic behavior is minimized.

I always get asked questions why I do workouts so early in the morning. Well, there is your answer right there.

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