Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge

The Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge is my latest "thing". It started today, down at Lennox Gardens, which is on Lake Burley Griffin behind the Hyatt Hotel for those people who know Canberra. It's an attractive spot, with many of the trees changing colour for autumn.

I headed off on the bike just before 6 am. I had my practice ride yesterday. What I'd forgotten to take into account is that I was 20 minutes earlier, which meant it was 20 minutes darker and 20 minutes colder. I discovered that the light on my bicycle is more useful if it illuminates the ground. I also discovered that my backside was sore from yesterday's foray into the world of bicycle riding.

I'm really glad I did the trip yesterday morning, because at least I knew where I was going today. It would have been much harder in the dark. I probably would have left earlier too, as I would have been worried about arriving late.

I still don't have the gears worked out, although I did ask a friend who cycles for some advice today. I was changing them completely the wrong way. This morning, my ineptness resulted in my chain coming off as I went across Commonwealth Bridge. I had no idea what to do to fix it, so I shrugged my shoulders and decided to walk the rest of the way. I had just started walking when a kind cyclist stopped to help me. While fixing it for me, she explained to me a quick and easy way to get the chain back on. I was on my way again in no time.

I arrived at Lennox Gardens with 5 mins to spare. Krissi and Brad were very professional, taking our blood pressure, getting us to fill in forms, going through the safety procedures, and explaining to us what it was we were in for. A warm up jog, a series of fitness tests, a cool down jog and it was time to go home.

I worked hard at the beep test, getting to level 3-2 but I didn't kill myself, knowing that I'd want a better result in four week's time. I was the third person out of this one. Pushups are something I keep telling myself I'm going to work on. I managed to get 26 done on my toes in 1 minute. I don't know how long I lasted on the plank. I've improved heaps on this, but there is still lots of room for improvement. We also did an agility test that wasn't too bad.

I had been quite nervous about the first session, but it wasn't tough at all. I don't know quite what to expect next time, but the group was pretty stoked to be there, and I think we'll all motivate each other. It was great to see so many of the girls from Team Black.

Unfortunately I won't be able to go next week, as I'll be in Queensland. At least I know to work on my pushups and plank while I'm gone, along with keeping up my running.

After the cool down, I headed off home on the bike. It was much easier today, although I didn't seem to get home any quicker. I still have to build up some confidence in myself when the bike is going downhill. Getting the gears sorted will also make a difference. Mind you, I was a lot more adventurous today with the gears.

AS will happen, when I got home there was excitement in the carpark. Some people in one of the upstairs apartments were having a lounge delivered via crane. I was gawking as I rode along the footpath, and managed to crash into the parking ticket machine. I didn't fall off the bike. It was more of a tip sideways and recover. I did manage to knock my handlebars out of alignment, but they have been straightened up.

I wore my HRM this morning, but forgot to turn it on. I'm definitely having a forgetful day today. When I got downstairs to my apartment, which is next door to the complex gym, I discovered I'd left my front door wide open. Fortunately, it looks as though all the people who used the gym during the two hours I as out are incredibly honest, as nothing was missing from my apartment. I think I was very lucky. I'll certainly make sure I close the door next time.

My backside has been hurting all day, so I am very glad I wore my cycling nicks this morning. I nearly didn't, on the grounds that I'd look like like a wuss removing them when I arrived at the challenge. Thank goodness comfort won the battle over pride.

I only know about half a dozen people in Canberra who ride bikes and I saw one of them this morning. I wasn't sure at the time, but he bailed me up at work to find out if he'd been imagining seeing me or not. It's such a small world.

Oh, my average cost per ride went down another $20 today. The bike will be affordable in no time.


Sarah said...

oh Kathy ... I can't believe you rode into the parking tiket machine!! AND you left your front door open!!! I've gone to bed and left the keys in the front door several times :o !

26 push ups - holy smoke woman!!!! I can barely manage 10!!! Good on you!

I know I've seen it explained before, but for the benefit of my seive brain, can you please explain the beep test again for me :)

Kathy said...

Sarah, the beep test involved running 20 metres over and over again, until you miss a beep. The beeps get progressively faster as the test progresses. The rules are:

You have to get to the other end before the beep.
You have to put your foot on or over the line at the other end or you are out.
You have to wait until you hear the beep before you start running back.
You keep going until you don't make it before the beep.

They tell you which level you're on, eg 1-1, 1-2, etc. At the end of a level there's three beeps, then it's 2-1, 2-2, etc.
There are 20 levels.

I have plenty of room for improvement as I got to level 3-2.

MorseyRuns said...

I am so impressed with you girls for the amount of push ups you can do!

Andrew(ajh) said...

Glad to hear you've entered the brave new world of cycling - if you're cycling in the dark you're already braver than me!