The exercise highlight of the past two days was the Black Team visit to the Runner's Shop in Canberra. Krissi organised the visit for us, as a number of people in our team are interested in running and either have no idea what to wear when it gets cold or don't know what shoes to buy.
Brian Wenn and his staff couldn't have been more helpful. We had a talk on clothing and another on shoes. I had read a lot of this info in various magazines, forums and blogs, but it was handy to hear it again from someone who has sold shoes for years to runners. Amazingly, the way they worked out what type of shoes we needed was something completely new to me. They watched us when we squatted. Given the amount of training I've had when squatting, I thought we'd all turn out to be neutral, but that wasn't the case. Fortunately for me, I did. I think I'm one of the lucky people who is biomechanically suited to running. I know it's not fair to everyone else, but I'm delighted to be amongst the lucky ones.
I don't think I've ever tried on so many pairs of shoes in the search for the perfect pair. I felt really comfortable saying "that's not quite right" and I ended up with a pair of adidas runners. I even ran a little in them before deciding they were "the" ones. I can't see myself doing that in a shopping centre store. Well, maybe now that I know that I can I probably will do the mini-run around the shop. I guess that's one of the ways that the shop assistant can tell that you're a serious runner.
I also bought two pairs of three-quarter length running pants, and a pair of running shorts. I justified this expenditure by reminding myself how hard it was to locate pants that weren't going to fall down when I was running. I don't think I've ever spent so much money on running gear. Luckily, I was able to get the ACT Cross Country Club 10% discount. While my credit card was preparing for total melt down I managed to squeeze in a fuel belt too.
The amazing thing about the running gear was how light it all was. I'd have liked to have bought a lightweight jacket, but they didn't have one in my size. Well, they may have had a white one, but I didn't even bother to look at those. I'm not one of those people who can wear white. I'm basically a grub.
As for other exercise, I did my weights program on Thursday morning. I was tempted to split it, but I arrived at the gym early enough to do the whole program. I gritted my teeth, did the one-legged squats and survived all the other exercises as well. My triceps pushups are still incredibly sad, but they have definitely improved.
This morning, I made it to step and I'm regretting it now. My left knee feels quite sore. It was fine during the class, but it's been slowly building up to spitting the dummy. I am trying to convince myself that it's no worse than it was when I first started exercising. Getting up the stairs at the end of a session was a major effort. I guess the real test will happen tomorrow. I want to do a long run, and I'm going to give it a go. If my knee is dodgy then, well, it's dodgy and I'll walk rather than run. I hope it's ok.
I am really proud of myself for handling the whole problem of peer group pressure. I'm sure I mentioned that the group that I run with were thinking of doing a 16 km run. It would be so easy to go along with them, and hate every minute of it. I managed to send out a group email that said I was piking. Well, I said it quite differently. I mentioned that all the advice I was reading said to stay within 10% when increasing distance or weight etc. I said I'd be running bridge to bridge. I was making it clear that while I wasn't running with them, I'd still be running. And I didn't let them talk me into something that is too hard for me. I am one of those "easygoing" types, who ends up doing stuff I don't want to do, so this was a big step for me.
This week has been a terrible points week at the gym. I couldn't get to P/T and then my Slim counsellor wanted to leave earlier than my appointment. It's a bit difficult to ask her to hang around for an hour just so I can get 50 points, so I decided to forgo them.
The fitness challenge finishes this week, so I'll be aiming to get a few points tomorrow, although I'm not really worried about getting more points now. I'm really happy with the outcome of the challenge. I'm so much fitter, and the whole thing has been an amazingly positive experience. The points are a minor detail.