Wow, so, where do I begin? I know, how about how I hate anything and everything related to cardiovascular workouts. I’m not a fan of sprint workouts, not real keen on circuit training, and I might rather stick a pencil through my eyeball than do steady-state cardio.

You may be asking then, “why”? Why on earth is someone that hates cardio so much, actually doing cardio? We can “blame” that on Mr. Jimmy Smith, a.k.a. @jimmysmithtrain on Twitter. I’m starting his “6-pack in 6-weeks” program tomorrow (another post about that tomorrow) and thought I should do a little pre-work so my legs aren’t so sore once I hit his mandatory sprint workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I should also mention, I was meeting a new friend there too. She’s also a trainer/occupational therapist grad student/triathlete. I thought what better way to break the ice than to humiliate myself in front of her, right?

Anyways, back to the story….I took a look at the map and see that it’s only about 2 mi. to where we’re supposed to meet at the lake. I think, sweet, I’ll just ride my bike. (Minneapolis has a shit ton of bike lanes.) I get outside, ride no more than 50 ft. and it starts to drizzle. At first, I’m thinking, “Great. Just what I wanted.” But later it turns out to be a blessing in disquise. It was about 90% humidity so the rain felt nice. That’s besides the point. To get to where I’m goin, I have to ride down the east side of Lake of the Isles, go under a bridge and then down the east side of Lake Calhoun. The beach we were meeting at was at the south end of Lake Calhoun. No big deal. The lanes are clearly marked, and I’ve ridden them before. I’ve just never really paid attention because I was following someone else. Can’t be that hard though, right? Ha ha ha. Riiiiight.

So, I get off the roads and hook up with the bike lane at the north side of Lake of the Isles (big red “X” on the map). I ride down the east side. And then I ride…and ride….and ride some more. WTF? Where’s this bridge at? That map must have really small scaling cuz I thought for sure this was only going to be a two mile ride. I come up to a point on the path and see a hill. I think, “Ahh, that must be where I turn.” Going against my male intuition, I ask some people nearby just to make sure (monsterous green “X”). ERRRR! Wrong. They point me out to the bridge that I had been looking for all along. So, I get to the bridge, make my way down Lake Calhoun, and meet up with my running partner (giant orange “X”)….who had been waiting in the rain for 15 min. Great first impression right? Doh!!

Have I mentioned I haven’t done any cardio since last summer? Did I mention she’s training for a friggin’ triathalon?! Needless to say, I knew this wasn’t going to be good. Turns out, it really wasn’t all that bad. We did have to stop and walk twice so I could suck wind. Meanwhile, she’s talkin up a storm and acting like this is just some leisurely stroll. Fuck! Anyways, I ran it, and I can already feel my shins and quads just yelling at me. “Hey dumbshit! Yeah, you! What the HELL are you fucking thinking?!?!?” I don’t know, my friends. I do not know….(defeated, sad face)

Anyways, we say goodbye. She hops in her car. I hop back on my bike. (Great. I ain’t done yet. FML.) I see some people running and rollerblading and think nothing of it. I’m in my own little world thinking about training and dieting and opening my gym and all that stuff that I am CONSTANTLY thinking about. I finally snap to when I realize that I’m seeing the same people running and rollerblading that I saw when I left the beach! I didn’t think anything of it, but I was like, “damn! These people are going about as fast as I am, and I’m on a bike….and I’m not lolly-gaggin’ (how in the world do you spell that??). Oh well. I go back into my daze and pedal pedal pedal pedal. I snap out of it again. What. The. Fuck! I’m back at the EXACT same beach where I started/finished/left! I did another fucking lap around Lake Calhoun and didn’t even realize it!! Are you kidding me?!? Oh that just made my day.

So, round and round I go again. This time I make sure to pay attention. This time I actually remembered the bridge I needed to go under to get to Lake of the Isles. This time I get on the right path. The bike path is a one-way “street” but eventhough there’s hardly anyone on it, I decide to go the right direction knowing that it’s a bit longer than just going the way I came. Pedal pedal pedal pedal. STOP!!! I just rode by the place where I stopped and asked directions on my way there. That doesn’t make sense. I stopped and asked directions on the south end of Lake of the Isles. Oh-ho-ho-ho. Nope. Wait. I get it. I actually rode AROUND Lake of the Isles on the way there and didn’t even realize it! No wonder why it seemed like it took forever and a day to get down to the beach. Eff me again! The place where I stopped and asked directions was actually about 2 blocks north of where I got on the bike path in the first place. God, what an idiot.

Anyways, I straightened all of that out in my head. Kind of laughed at myself. Kind of died a little bit on the inside too. I couldn’t believe it. I shook my head in disgust and made my merry way home.

All in all, I biked ~6.3 mi. down to the beach, including 1.5 laps around Lake of the Isles. Ran ~3.3 around Lake Calhoun. Biked ~8.3 mi. on the way home, including 1.5 laps around Lake Calhoun. All in about 2 hours. I didn’t wear my Garmin or heart rate monitor so I don’t know the exact distance or calories burned. It’s gotta be a lot, right??? Please say “right”? No? Screw you too!

Hopefully I don’t make those same mistakes again. I would really question my manhood if I did. But if we meet up to run again after I start Jimmy’s program, hopefully it won’t be so easy for her!

P.S. Yes, I realized I got lost….twice. Yes, I realize I was athletically outperformed by a woman. Yes, I got home, checked between my legs, and do indeed still have everything intact. I’m now going to go kill a wild animal with my hands, kick a dog, and drink a beer just to be doubly sure I’m still a guy.

Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.