Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Cycling, running and yoga

Today was a great exercise day. I cycled out to the running course this morning, and went to yoga this evening. I also did really well with my eating, which is always easier on days where you burn a lot of calories.

I was so determined to get to running this morning that I had trouble sleeping. I woke up several times during the night. It was a relief when the alarm finally went off. One of the things that bothered me last week was getting changed out of my cycle gear, so I decided to pass on wearing bike pants. Instead I wore my Skins and some running pants. It had the advantage of giving me two bottom layers when I was running. The forecast min was -2, it was -3 when I left home, and the min temp for the day was -5, which would have occurred while I was out running. Brrrr!

I read some "winter gear" advice somewhere last week, which basically suggested two top layers for 5 degrees, so I added an extra one to run in, then wore a jacket and a bike jacket over the top of all that for my ride. I was busy telling myself that I'd survived the -3 degree morning during the Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge so I'd be fine, but I just read back and discovered that it had only reached 0. Not only that, I got a lift last time! This time I was on the bike, which adds a wind chill factor. As anyone who rides, the wind blows straight into your face. I was also wishing I'd worn my running gloves under my bike gloves as my hands were cold. Fortunately, I was warm everywhere else, and my backside survived not wearing proper cycling knicks.

My cycling has improved as I got to Lennox Gardens earlier than I'd expected. Fortunately for me, Lola was also early, and kindly offered me a seat in her car while we waited. That was a huge bonus.

When Brad arrived with Krissi, I had a moment's "oh no, what will I do?" as I'd been relying on Krissi being there. I quickly remembered that Brad and Krissi had both been terrific with me, so I decided that I'd be fine. Sure enough, when we split up into groups for the fartlek, Brad straight away partnered up with me, which was really reassuring. Another girl, Samantha, was with us. Krissi had told me that there was a beginner in the group, so I figured she was the one.

We headed off for a warm up run, and I found myself running along easily instead of puffing and panting as I'd expected. The warm up is always done at a slow pace, but I was extra comfortable during it. I've been noticing that I keep up with the group much better now, and I find it a great way to get started. Brad explained how the fartlek would work, which had me anxious again for a little while. I'd thought that it went fast, slow, fast, slow, but I discovered that it could go fast, faster, faster. Mind you, as a group we were taking turns suggesting a point to run to and a pace to go at, and Brad made sure Samantha and I realised that it was ok to choose a slower pace. Like most people, I have this idea that I have three paces - walk, run slowly and try to run fast (also known as almost dying). With the fartlek we were choosing 50%, 60% etc so I figure I have a whole range of paces now. They all feel different too. I'd had the misconception that it wouldn't matter what the percentage was, I'd be running at one of my three paces.

When we got to the turnaround time, Brad sent us back and ran on to collect the other groups. On the way back, Samantha said to me "you're a machine, you never stop" which, little did she know it, was great for my self-confidence. I'd felt like I was running well, but it was really nice to have someone else say so. Isn't it amazing how often you end up hearing what you really needed to hear? Another good thing was that the other groups didn't pass us on the way back. All up we ran for about 35 minutes. I think we probably covered around 4 - 4.5 km.

To give you an idea of how cold it was, when I got back to my bike it was covered in frost! I rubbed the frost off with my gloves, but I definitely had a cold backside for a few minutes. A woman from another running group who was getting into her car told me she was really impressed that I was out on my bike in this weather, which was another confidence building remark.

It was so good to get under a hot shower when I arrived home!

This evening I headed off to the gym in the rain. I was walking along, rugged up again, thinking that exercising in Canberra requires a certain amount of perseverance in winter. Mind you, once I was in the gym it was lovely and warm.

Yoga was really enjoyable. I am definitely getting more flexible, but there's still so much room for improvement. We did lots of balancing today. Michelle mentioned Dru Yoga, so I imagine that's the flavour of yoga we were doing. I enjoyed it as ever, but I do find myself thinking of Celeste during the classes. I'm getting better at the Downward Dog, but some of the transitions to other poses are a real challenge.

We learned something amusing tonight. We were doing a stretch when you sit with the soles of your feet together and lower your knees. If you say yes, you can lower your knees further. Try it. It works.

Oh, one more confidence building thing happened. One of the other members came up to talk to me at the gym today. When she did her first RPM class a little over 12 months ago she was brand new and didn't bring any water, so I shared my water with her. For that reason, she noticed me around the place. She was doing Yoga today and we were waiting for the previous class to finish, so she took the opportunity to tell me that she'd noticed how good I was looking and how much I'd changed since she first met me. It was a great reminder that I've come a long way over the past 12 months. I'm glad she took the time to speak to me.

Another great day foodwise. Things are turning around. :-)


jojo said...

wow..awesome work today.. i coud barely drag myself out of the door to got to work this morning it was soo cold! and obviusly if someone is sayin u are a machine..you must be :) keep up the great work

Celeste said...

OK - I think that going out in such temperatures is more than just dedicated - it's downright whacko. I can't even imagine cold like that. My toes, fingers, ears and nose suffer the most. I'd hate it and probably seek the warmth of the treadmill in the gym.

Andrew(ajh) said...

Sounds like a great day Kathy! I am so in awe of your willpower to get up and exercise in the morning - I am failing miserably at that at the moment. I agree about the face on the bike - mine gets frozen - the rest of the bod is toasty in the 3 layers of clothing and the face is frozen!

warriorwoman said...

Sounds like a day full of boosts. I love days like that.
Great going Kathy.

MorseyRuns said...

Sounds like you need to cycle in a balaclava! Seriously you can get cotton ones that make it look like you aren't going to do a bank job- really ruins the hairstyle though. You are seriously amazing for getting out there in the freezing cold.

Em said...

I should so stop complaining about the weather, yet you are still getting out there, man you had a big day!