Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Fitness Challenge and Yoga

This morning was the Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge. I jumped on my bike and headed off to Lennox Gardens. I'm enjoying riding my bike more and more. I think it's partly due to the weather - it's not freezing cold or dark when I leave home any more - and it's partly the fact that I'm managing the bike better now. My balance has improved, I can change gears and I can handle the hills I encounter. I feel much safer. I can look over my shoulder without falling off the bike. I'm even game to let go of the handle bars and indicate when I'm going to turn right.

An added bonus is Spring. There was blossom all over the place today. The swan family were out and about. The cygnets are looking more and more swanlike, even though they are still fluffy grey balls.

Krissi had told us that today would be a lot of fun and she was right. We were split into teams of three and we had a race. After our warm up we had to run as a team around the park with a key. As I was the slowest runner, that meant that my team were running at my pace. I felt a bit anxious about that but Nicole and Nathan were cool with it. The other teams also had slow runners in them and, to my surprise, we arrived at our destination first. We had to unlock an innertube from a fence. Each of us had to keep a hand on it as we headed back to the starting point.

We were ahead when we took off with the innertube but we ignored the "you can go cross country on the way back" part of the instructions and ended up in second place. When we got back we were given a question and we headed off to the Japanese Garden to find the answer. We had to roll the tube along part of the way, run off and find the answer, pick up the tube on the way back and roll it back to the start, where we were given another question. A different person had to roll it each time. It was easier for Nic and I to roll the innertube as neither of us is tall.

There were three questions all together. We trailed the first team all the way through this section, but something seemed to go wrong for them and they headed back to the Japanese Garden while we were given a new challenge. We had to get the innertube around a course without touching it with our hands. Nathan worked out how to do this. Nic and I stood the tube up with our feet and he stuck his head through. We then jogged around the course and ended up winning the race. There were prizes for everyone, but we got to pick first. I scored a PowerBar out of it, which was pretty cool.

We got one of the answers wrong and had to do 10 pushups. I did the "look at my elbow" thing and my pushups were definitely better. We could have had the answer right, but I chose not to argue the point. Once upon a time I would have had to be right however I don't bother so much now over trivial things. I guess that it's either a sign of maturity, ie being able to choose not to sweat the small stuff, or a sign of old age, ie not having the energy to insist that we reconsider our answer. I didn't mind doing the pushups anyway.

It's amazing how much fun this type of event is. We did a lot of running, but we were distracted by the questions and by trying to keep the innertube rolling so it didn't seem like we were working hard. It was good doing it with team mates too. I like being put with different people as it gives you an opportunity to develop a real appreciation of them. Most of the people doing the challenge are Black Team Women so an added benefit is that we get to know the other participants.

The TBW runners are doing the Canberra Times 10 km Fun Run on Sunday. I'm running the 8 km Spring into Shape instead. I had to choose between the series and the fun run. I could have skipped the 1st run in the series, but this weekend is closest to my birthday and I wanted to be in Melbourne to celebrate with the family. Birthdays are a major event in my family. During the year I try to get home for most of the celebrations.

This evening I headed off to Yoga. We did a modified Power Yoga. In other words it was easier than Power Yoga. There were a lot of downward dogs, which was great for my hamstrings and calves. It's a fabulous way to stretch. We got an explanation of the position today from the instructor and I realised I've been letting my shoulders be too close to my ears. Now that I know, I can do something about it. I still struggled with getting out of the position, but it felt easier today - that advice I got from the Body Balance instructor definitely made a difference.

I know Yoga is exercise, but it feels like a holiday. I guess it's because I can catch my breath!

I've got an opportunity to go running with some of the TBW. They are running earlier than usual, which suits me, so I think I'd better get myself down there. I was planning to run and it's fun to run with other people. The main issue is that I'm struggling with having warm clothes to run in. Nothing fits! I left my only other warm top in Melbourne and I'm missing it. Oh, the trials of losing weight! Aren't they great? :-)

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