Thursday, 29 November 2007

Bike ride, Fitness challenge and personal training

When I first started riding over the bridge on Commonwealth Avenue I used to worry about the traffic. I would reassure myself that I never saw cars coming through the barrier and hitting pedestrians, trying to convince myself I was perfectly safe on my bike. As my confidence has grown I've become much more relaxed about the whole thing. This morning I was reminded of that old concern. As I rode up the hill to the bridge I came across the debris from a car accident. A whole section of stone wall and railing was lying across the path. If anyone had been walking or riding past at the time they would have been injured.

I had to get off the bike to get past the rubble. On the way home I saw that someone had moved bits and pieces of wall to one side of the path. It never occurred to me to do that, but at least I'll think of it next time I come across an obstacle like this one.

Apart from navigating my way past the accident I managed to stay seated for all the hills again. Also, I'm finding my legs are coping a lot better on the way home than they used to. Mind you, having the Garmin is interesting. It takes me a minute longer per km on the way home than it does on the way to the challenge. Now, if only I could rememember to turn it on!

This morning's fitness challenge session was pretty good fun. We started off with a different way to do our warm up activities. It was all the usual stuff - lifting our knees, kicking our butts, side steps etc. We did the exercise between a set of cones, then jogged back to the start, where we did more static exercises like half squats.

After that, we were in Indian file in two lines. The back markers had a medicine ball. When the whistle blew, they handed the ball to the pair in front then ran quickly up to the front of the line. When a different whistle sounded, we had to find Krissi. The first person to reach her got to choose an activity card, with activities such as walking lunges, 2 mins of squats, 2 mins of zigzag medicine ball passes, 2 mins of shadow boxing, 2 mins of stair climbing, etc. I enjoyed this session last time and it was just as good this time.

Because of the warmer weather there were midges everywhere. I never realised midges were sensible before. They don't seem to come out when the temperature is below zero. When I was riding home there were a lot more people out and about too. I thought that maybe I was a lot later than usual but I got home at about the same time.

On Tuesday I felt a little sore during the day. I've been fine today, but I have a feeling that I'll be suffering tomorrow. I remember that the overhead shadow boxing had a way of reminding me that I'd done it.

Tonight I had my PT session with Julia. I warmed up on the bike before the session, as I don't want to waste any of my half hour on the warm up. The session was pretty much the same as last week. We only did one set of squats as I told Julia I'd done 45 of them this morning. I was pleased to be able to do 4 lots of the 5 squats and hold on the 5th. My legs were really feeling it. I am wondering how they'll hold up after PT with Krissi tomorrow.

The chest press was much easier today. I mentioned to Julia that she was the first PT who wasn't telling me to tighten my abs. I said, laughingly, that maybe I was finally doing it. She told me that was why she wasn't saying it. She even mentioned that I was self-correcting when I relaxed them. I was pleased - it seems that almost three years of being told to do something is all it takes for me to remember to do it most of the time.

The only difference today was that I did one set of dead lifts. I've never done these before. Normally I'm watching for my lower back to start helping and locking on my abs to stop it. This exercise is one where my lower back is meant to do the work for a change, so it felt a little strange.

I'm pretty sure I'll sleep well tonight.

Oh, an update on my Mum. I haven't been mentioning her health while she's been waiting to have her heart operation (a heart valve replacement). She almost had it a few weeks ago but a slight bug prevented it from happening. Anyway, to cut a long story short, she had it on Monday and is recovering really well. She was moved from ICU to the ward yesterday and I was able to phone her today. It was lovely to hear her voice. I'll be home this weekend to see her.

JoJo, your comment about wanting to do everything made me think about it. I figure that I want to do everything simply because I can. Three years ago I couldn't have done any of it, so now I want to it all. I love being able to do stuff that most of the people I know wouldn't contemplate.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Fitness challenge and Yoga

This morning I made it to the Outdoor Group Fitness Challenge. I was really looking forward to it after missing the first two sessions. As usual, I rode my bike to Lennox Gardens. It seemed much easier today. In fact, I managed to stay seated for the hills. Either riding to work has improved my cycling fitness or the bike service has made a huge difference.

There were several new people in the group, which certainly adds interest, along with a core of familiar faces. It was interesting to see how the new people were handling the work. It reminded me of my first challenge, when all the activities were new and I wasn't quite sure what to do. Knowing what to expect makes it less daunting.

It was the agility session today. After the warm up Brad took us through the activities, which were arranged in a rectangular area. He makes it look so incredibly easy. The activities included the ladder exercise, where you step between the rungs with both feet, starting with the right foot for the first ladder and the left foot for the second ladder; jumping in and out of a circle of cones, clockwise and anti-clockwise; standing jumps; a short shuttle run and a dodge and weave run. In between activities we ran around the rectangular area, jogging the long sides and sprinting the short sides.

The first time through we spent 2 mins per activity and the second time through 1 min per activity. We finished off with a shuttle run and then the cool down. I was really pleased with how hard I worked today. I made an effort to go as fast as I could on the short ends and I kept myself moving as much as possible.

This is the third time I've done the activity session and I'm really starting to see the improvement. I dreaded the jumping activities the first time. There's a picture of me doing one of them on the 121 website, along with a testimonial I wrote at the time. You can't tell from the photo how hard I was finding it, but I remember the feeling. I'm still not keen on the jumping, but I know I can do it.

I was a bit stiff and sore at work today, so I didn't run home this evening. I went to Yoga, which was terrific as ever for making sure I stretched out properly. we did a lot of "warrior" poses tonight. There are so many ways the instructor is able to get me tied into knots! We started off with a relaxing breathing exercise, complete with visualisations. I quite like these.

After that, we were kneeling down and then settled back onto our heels. It's a good shin stretch, but I just couldn't hold it at the beginning. We moved back into that position a number of times, so I persisted. I was able to hold it at the end, although I was really close to giving up and sitting cross-legged. I'm starting to get a few of the other poses at last. I felt as though I coped quite well tonight. I didn't have any cramps, which was a relief. I've started taking magnesium tablets and I hadn't just come from a run. It will be interesting to see how I go after a run next week.

I'm still in shock. I've signed up for the Triathlon training program that I mentioned the other day. Training starts next week, so I'll be busy. I'm a little apprehensive about the swimming and the cycling. I find it amazing that I've done this to myself. I've also started to look at what I'll need to do for the half marathon. I have a list of all the events I want to do next year, in Canberra and in Melbourne as well. I can't believe I'm this organised. I'm going to take a leaf out of lbtepa's book and use stars and stickers to reward myself. This is going to be fun.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Olympic Dream fun run

This morning Andrew, Laura, Michael and I completed the 5 km Olympic Dream fun run. It was the kids' first fun run, which made it pretty special. Laura and Michael's parents came along to watch, which was lovely. It was also handy, as Lynda looked after our stuff for us. :-)

We met at a Southbank car park, as explaining where Birrarung Marr was to my sister was beyond me the other day. Every time I said, "You know where such and such is?" her answer was no. Of course, once we were there, the obvious land mark jumped immediately to mind. I should have remembered her horse obsession and organised to meet her at Champions.

The kids were amazed by how many runners and walkers were there. Mike explained, with enormous eyes, that he'd seen numbers in the 4900's. We lined up for the start and I reminded them that we'd be dodging around people and they'd be dodging around us. Fortunately we managed to start off with a group of runners rather than walkers which made it a lot easier. We stayed to the far right at the start and managed to get ourselves into a clear space fairly early on.

We told Lynda and Pat that we thought we'd be back at around the 35 - 40 minute mark. Lynda took a few photos of the start for us. After the race they told us they'd found a place to sit near the finish line and had just sat down when they heard all this cheering. The winner was just crossing the line about 15 mins after the race started. They were pretty impressed.

The four of us stayed together for the first part of the race. We started off slowly, at about 7 min/km pace, as Laura wanted to run as much of the 5 km as possible. Near the 2 km mark she was struggling a little, so I told the boys they could run on ahead, while Laura and I slowed down. She was determined to run further than the 2 km she did last week before stopping to walk so she was aiming to make it to the 2.5 km mark. She made it to about 2.7 km before walking up a hill. Overall, Laura managed to run a little more than 4 km of the 5 km course, which was a great effort.

As we neared the end we were running down the last hill. I told Laura that if she wanted to go faster I'd be able to keep up. She took off, I sped up and next thing you know we were passing lots of people on the way down the hill. One lady tried to speed up when she heard us coming, but we had no trouble passing her. It was great fun. We managed to cross the line together, which was a really nice way to finish the run.

Our splits were 6:54, 7:03, 7:47, 8:07 and 6:17 (5:29 - my Garmin measured the course 0.15 km short). The official results aren't back in, but our unofficial time is 35:21. The boys finished a couple of minutes ahead of us.

At the end of the race the kids were bubbling over with pleasure. They were delighted with themselves for finishing the race. They enjoyed their bling. Lynda, Pat and I gave them heaps of postive feedback. I'm pretty sure I've got a team of running companions any time I want them. I've put the photos up on Facebook. Here's one of the four of us at the end.

Friday, 23 November 2007

PT, PT and hill run

I've been too busy to blog. Normally when I don't blog it means I haven't exercised, but I did get to the gym on Thursday and to PT and for a run on Friday.

Thursday PT

After a week of not feeling quite right and missing the first two sessions of the outdoor fitness challenge, I headed off to the gym on Thursday evening for my PT session with Julia. I figured I'd manage a half hour session without too much trouble. I warmed up on the treadmill. The tv screens have arrived, but I didn't have my earphones with me so I turned mine off. I was then confronted with my reflection. As I was expecting to do a weights session I hadn't worn a running bra, so there I was on the screen, bouncing away. I decided that walking was probably a much better option. If I'd been seeing Krissi or Leanne I would have been wearing something I could run and jump in. I'll have to change my mindset for my sessions with Julia or I'll end up not taking them seriously.

The session itself was fine. Rather than waiting for her to ask me about any injuries, I told Julia about my knee to be on the safe side. The program she had planned for me wasn't going to cause any problems, which was good. We started off with fitball squats. I was a little 'ho-hum' about them as I think I've advanced well past them, but I decided to give Julia a chance to work out where I was at for herself. To my surprise, the variation Julia had me doing was quite challenging. On the fifth squat I had to stay down while she counted. I'm not sure how long I was down each time, but it did get progressively longer and I was really glad to stop after the fifth set of five.

After the squats Julia had me doing dumbbell chest presses. She asked me what weight I'd been using. I've only recently progressed to the bottom row of weights, so I was more than happy to tell her 8 kg. We repeated the squats (4 lots of 5 this time, with longer holds on the fifth squat) and then the chest presses, before doing triceps pushbacks using a 3 kg weight. After this we did some killer butt exercises on the floor. I was fairly impressed by these. A bit of stretching at the end and that was the session.

I'm not all that keen on the Fernwood PT session structure. While being stretched by the trainer is "nice" it's not essential, and I'd rather do a more comprehensive set of exercises and get some abs work as well. It seems that abs work has fallen off the radar. I don't know when the session structure changed exactly, but the PT's at our gym were able to resist it while the gym was being managed from Melbourne. Now that there's an on-site manager it seems we're stuck with following the recipe approach to PT.

Julia made a comment that she didn't want people leaving her sessions feeling like they hadn't worked hard enough. On reflection, it sounds to me as though some of the other clients might not like this new approach either. I'll see how it goes, but at this stage I don't think I'll be renewing my PT sessions when my contract comes to an end.

Friday PT

I had my PT session at Krissi's place. She's set up a room in her home as a training studio and this was my first session there. It was good to see the set up as I've been hearing all about it from Krissi and the others. I was able to have a great workout. It started with a 10 minute warmup on the bike. Not exactly my favourite form of cardio, but I only had myself to blame. I planned to run at lunchtime so I opted for the bike instead of a jog in the park.

After I warmed up Krissi did some great stretches with me. I felt really spoiled. I then did some static lunges off the step to work on stability. It's when I do stuff like this that Krissi's experience really shows. Krissi watches me like a hawk and makes sure that my form is good. For example, my posture is better on my stronger leg. She explains what she's seeing and works with me to correct the problems. I get a real sense of what the exercise ought to feel like and I know why I should take the trouble to recreate that feeling when I'm doing it on my own.

One of the things the group of women that I train with often laugh about is the way we hear our personal trainer's voice in our heads when they aren't there. Julia doesn't mention locking on my abs at all but I hear this chorus of voices - Sarah, Leanne and Krissi - telling me to breathe and to keep my abs locked on to protect my lower back etc.

We then did barbell chest presses. We loaded the bar up with 5 kg weights. When I do that on the Smith machine I think of that as a warmup but I was finding it hard going. After the first set I managed eight pushups then struggled to get to 10 reps in the second set. In fact, I think I'd have to call it nine and a half. I thought I was still exhausted and mentioned that to Krissi. She pointed out that the bar itself weighed another 5 kg, not to mention the things that were holding on the weights. I felt a lot better hearing that. I don't know what the Smith machine equivalent would be and I don't really care. I've a new baseline now and I'll be able to measure improvement from it.

We did some triceps pulldowns using a rope instead of a fixed bar. Krissi explained how to hold the rope to get the maximum benefit from the exercise. It really did make a difference. Some lower back exercises and we were done. I really enjoyed the workout.

Friday Hill Run

One of the guys at work, Tom, asked if I'd like to go running with him at lunch time, so I did. I warned him that I'm a slow runner but he didn't seem to mind. Tom told me that he found running more fun when he had company. We headed off just before midday, following a running route Tom had done a couple of times before. What he hadn't told me, until we were on our way, was that it was really hilly. I did get a choice between steep and not so steep, so I figured I may as well give steep a go. I managed to run about a third of the way up the hill before having to walk. I got myself going a few more times on the way up. Tom kept running on ahead and then coming back to collect me.

He assured me that once we got to the top it would be downhill (strange that). What he didn't tell me was that there were several more steep hills along the path. When I loaded the info from my Garmin into my pc I discovered that we gained 200 m of elevation during our 5.5 km run. We also lost them again on the way back. When I get back to Canberra I'll load the elevation profile up into this blog entry. I was quite cautious running downhill. I imagine that I'll get faster as I become more confident that I can keep my balance.

We ran along the trail for 25 minutes and then back again. I found it challenging, but we both really enjoyed it. It was hard work but the company helped. Running this route once a week is going to really help my fitness. It's also going to be great preparation for City to Surf next year.

We missed the turnoff on the way back, so we ended up tearing across country for the last few hundred metres, which was fun. It was raining so I wasn't worried about snakes out sunning themselves. 5.5 km in 50 minutes is pretty slow but it was a great workout. Best of all, my knee is fine today.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Running commute

That has got to be one of the hardest runs I've ever done. I struggled terribly for the first kilometre. Right from the beginning I didn't feel as though I had any energy. I didn't understand it, as I'd gotten myself ready for the run quite happily. I knew it was hot, I had my water, I was wearing sunscreen and aeroguard, I had my new shoes on, I'd remembered my Garmin. The only thing that wasn't working was my body. Lifting my feet was such an effort.

Now, I'd felt blergh on Monday, so I'd skipped going to the gym in the evening. (I'm not sure how to spell blergh but blah just doesn't do it.) This morning I was supposed to be at the first session of the Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge, but I was still feeling a little off colour. I packed my gear for running, although I did wonder if I'd be up for it this afternoon. By the end of the day I was looking forward to running home.

The only thing I was worried about was my knee. It was tired today, even though I didn't run on Sunday or exercise on Monday. I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment with a sports doctor to get it checked out. I don't really know how to describe how it feels because it doesn't usually hurt as such. I guess I'll have to find some words before the middle of December, which is the earliest appointment I could get.

I'm pretty sensible, so I did myself a deal that if my knee was hurting, I'd bail and catch the bus the rest of the way home. Once I'd decided I was going to run I found myself really looking forward to it. I'd been disappointed that I hadn't felt up to this morning's session and I would have been more disappointed if I'd cut out my planned run.

As I said earlier, I was really happy as I headed off on my run. Within a few minutes I was running along the path, wondering how I was ever going to get to the other end. My knee wasn't hurting at all. I just didn't feel as though I could pick up my feet. I found myself walking a few times, but I managed to get myself running again. I told myself I'd make it to the road, which was about 1 km, and then walk the rest of the way. I told myself that it didn't matter how long it took me as long I was covering the distance. I told myself to run more slowly. I was giving myself all sorts of advice.

As I struggled along, I tried to work out what was wrong. It was hot, but I like the summer and I had plenty of water. I wondered if it was nutrition. I've been eating badly lately. It's that time of month, but that doesn't normally knock me around much. Before I got to the road I checked in with how I was feeling again and discovered that I was starting to run more smoothly. I figured I'd see how I went and I managed to run the whole way home. Not only that, I started to enjoy myself.

I headed out to the road instead of going around behind the War Memorial today, so the run was only 4.7 km. It took me 40 minutes. My splits ended up being 8:19, 7:53; 8:08; 8:07 and 5:54. My knee is more tired than it was before I started but it's not hurting.

I read somewhere that there is no such thing as a bad run and I've decided that I agree with that idea. Given the way I was feeling at the start, I could say today's run was awful, but part of what I enjoyed about today's run was that I didn't give up. I now know that I can run even when I don't think I have the energy to lift my feet. That's an important lesson for someone who's going to run a half marathon next year.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

No SiS3 today

What a miserable morning. It was wet and windy. Worse still, the rain was cold! I headed off to Werribee to pick Andrew up anyway. I live about 25 km away from the course, so I was hoping that the weather would be better in town.

I outsmarted myself by bringing Andrew. I would have run if I'd only me to worry about, but I didn't like to drag him around the 8 km course in the wind and the rain. On top of that, we arrived early so that we'd have time to register him. I figured it wouldn't be any harm as he would get to see the 4 km race and he could have a go at the warm up aerobics. Well, being early when it's wet and cold and there's too much wind to stand around under an umbrella is not quite the fun experience I had planned for him. We got out of the car at about 8:30 and decided that breakfast was a much better idea.

We headed off to the Groove Train in Clarendon Street, where we both enjoyed a lovely breakfast. When we were on our way home the weather had clearly improved. I guess if I'd been arriving at my usual time we probably would have run. Oh well. Another time.

I bought myself a new pair of Ryka runners this morning. I noticed yesterday that my shins were starting to get a little sore, which made me realise that I couldn't put off the purchase any longer. It's amazing how good these new runners feel. As a bonus, they were on sale. I had 15 minutes to kill so I wandered into Rebel Sport, where I bought myself a pair of running shorts. I'm looking forward to trying those out during the week.

Congratulations to everyone who braved the weather at SiS today. :-)

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Short run and museum visit

I picked up Laura and Michael this morning and we headed off to the Werribee River Trail. After applying sunscreen and aeroguard, we did our warm up along the trail. It was lovely down along the river. I've never been down there before so I had no idea what to expect. There were a few people around, mainly on bikes. We only saw one other runner. It was 10:45 am, which would probably explain that.

We were out running for about 40 minutes, but the second half was a lot slower, so I think we covered somewhere between 3.5 and 4 kms. Unfortunately I left my Garmin in Canberra. I'll have to do the run again, just to find out how far we went. Laura led us out. She broke her wrist playing netball a few months ago and has only just recently gotten back into all her usual physical activities. Clearly it's done her the world of good as she's a lot fitter than she was three weeks ago. I wasn't able to keep up!

Michael ran along with me, keeping me company. On the way back, Laura walked, Michael and I jogged slowly, and we did a little back and forth as we kept getting too far ahead, even though we were trying to go slowly. Laura ran the last section with us again although she didn't join Michael and me in our mad rush back to the bridge with its imaginary finish line. When we finished we turned around and cheered her on, so she obligingly finished with a little flourish for us.

A few stretches and I had the two of the them home about an hour after I picked them up. This running in Werribee looks like a good plan.

I'm loving this whole "go for a run, sure" thing I have happening at the moment. I'm feeling really confident about my ability to run for anything up to an hour. One of the guys at work has asked me to run with him at lunchtime next Wednesday. Normally I'd have been "oh, I'm running on Tuesday, so I won't be able to run for a few days after that". Now it's "let me at it". When Lynda told me about the kids wanting to practise, I knew I could run today and tomorrow without any problems.

When I dropped off the kids I had coffee with my sister, Lynda, showered at her place and then headed off to pick up two of my nephews for their promised birthday trip to the Museum. My brother kindly made me lunch while I waited for Lachlan to arrive home from cricket. The birthday present deal involved lunch. Lachlan, Simon and I ended up at McDonald's. Lachlan explained seriously that he didn't want to choose his favourite, KFC, because he didn't want to ruin all the good work I'd done losing weight. Isn't that sweet?

It was McHappy Day and there were a couple of Collingwood footballers at the restaurant. Of course, it never occurred to me to take a camera. Fortunately, Maccas handed out bright red caps and the boys went over to get autographs. I've no idea who the footballers were. The boys recognised one of them, but didn't know the other and we couldn't work him out from his signature. Their mum is a Collingwood supporter, so they were delighted that they would be able to tell her about their brush with fame.

We arrived at the museum at about 2 pm, which gave us three hours before it closed. I'd never been there before and neither had the boys. It was terrific, much more fun than any of us had expected. I think my favourite thing was the Virtual Room although I loved the forest gallery. I could have spent a lot longer at the museum so I can see myself going back there again.

$20 each to spend in the museum shop rounded out the birthday treat. I did tell them that they could have the money instead if they didn't see anything they liked, but they managed to find themselves some stuffed toys. Now me, I would never have bought a 9 year old and an 11 year old stuffed toys, so obviously letting them choose their own presents is the way to go.

I really like this 'combine an activity with lunch and a present' type of birthday present. It ends up being a treat for me as well as for them. I'll definitely keep doing this for birthdays.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Personal training with Krissi

This morning Krissi was meeting me at my place as there's a gym in the apartment building. I thought about going up to the door to meet her, but I realised that Krissi would probably arrive via the balcony. Sure enough I looked out the window when she was due to arrive, and there she was. It's a pretty good service when you don't even have to leave your apartment building for your PT session.

We started off with the health check and goal questionnaire and my latest stretch goal is finally in writing as a definite goal. I've been hedging around it and I've only just started mentioning it to people as a sort of "I'm trying not to think about it" sort of thing. Yep, I'm going to run a half marathon next year, probably the Canberra Half in May.

I'm also seriously thinking about doing a Novice Women's Triathlon Training program. It includes six weeks of training (one session per discipline each week) and four education seminars, leading into the Women and Girls' Triathlon on Sunday, 3 February 2008. It also includes entry into the the final two races of the TACT novice series and membership of FIT (Females in Training) and TACT (Triathlon ACT). All this for $220. To me, that sounds like a pretty good deal. Training starts in December, so I'm going to have to make up my mind pretty soon.

Once Krissi had those goals on paper she measured my blood pressure, then produced the calipers and a measuring tape. The pinch test didn't hurt as much as I expected. It was interesting to experience how it was done and the results weren't as horrendous as I expected, especially after getting my %fat from a scales yesterday.

Now, I'm a little embarrassed to write this next bit. I have gone to a lot of trouble to avoid mentioning in my blog that my apartment is right next door to the gym. Even though it's next door I have only used it a couple of times in the almost three years that I have been living here. It has one of those universal gym setups in the middle of the room, a cross-trainer, a bike and a rowing machine. Residents are able to use the gym between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm, seven days a week, so I really have no excuse for not being able to get to the gym.

Today, Krissi took me in there and worked out a strength program for me to do in there. She's already typed it up and emailed it to me. She showed me how to use all the various bits and pieces, so I have no excuse not to use the gym now.

I really enjoyed my first non-Fernwood PT session with Krissi, but then again, I fully expected it to be great.

Oh, a funny story. My sister messaged me tonight - my niece and nephew, Laura and Michael, told her that I was taking them running this Sunday. She told them the fun run was the following Sunday, but they assured her that we were practising this Sunday. Now I'm doing SiS3 this weekend, and there's no way that I'm taking them on an 8 km run with me. I don't know where they got the idea about the practice session, but I'm going to pick them up tomorrow morning and take them for a run. We'll be heading out a little later than usual, as I don't even arrive in Melbourne until 8 am. These two have only come running with me once before so I think a practice session is probably a good idea - it will build their confidence before the fun run. The others are playing their usual Saturday sport so it will be just the three of us. I've no idea where I'll take them, but I'm sure I'll think of somewhere interesting.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Pool Running and Personal Training

This morning was probably my last pool running session for the time being, as next week Sally and I will be at GOFC. Because it was the last one, we did a ladder session, 5 min warm up, 1 min hard, 1 min easy, 2 min hard, 1 min easy .. up to 4 mins and then back down to 1 followed by the cool down. It was a good session.

This evening I had my first workout with my new personal trainer, Julia. It was an interesting session. We did boxing at my request. During the session I discovered that Julia has been working as a PT since July. At the beginning of the session I told her a little about about myself, that I run and that I like boxercise. I didn't get asked about my goals or about any injuries. I thought about telling her about my knee and then figured I'd see how it went. Sometimes I think I'm too conscious of it, causing me to limit myself.

Julia asked me if I'd done boxing before. I told her I had and so she didn't show me how to do anything. I remember the first time I did boxing with Krissi. Even though Krissi knew I'd boxed she checked that I knew what I was doing and fixed up my form where it wasn't quite right. I always felt confident that Krissi was looking after me.

The boxing session was fun and Julia is extremely likeable. We started off with cross punches, then cross punches with squats (3 and squat, over and over again!), followed by lunges, knee lifts, more punching including uppercuts and hooks, crunches involving punching and then more punches with squats. We ended up with Julia helping me stretch. I am more than happy to lie back and enjoy that.

I'm feeling really tired now. I'm sure I'll sleep well.

Tomorrow I have my first non-Fernwood PT session with Krissi. She mentioned skinfolds. Eeew! Still, I'm sure having the measurements will be a good motivator.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Pool running, running commute and yoga

Pool running this morning involved a dash to the pool to be there by 6 am. There's no point being early, as they don't open the doors early. How do I know? I was there early. Imagine being out and about before 6 am. Mind you, I need to practise this, as the Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge starts again next week. I have to be up in time to ride to Lennox Gardens before 6:30 am. It's going to be so much easier than it was in winter.

Sally and I both had work breakfasts on this morning, which is why we were there half an hour earlier. We chose a short program, the warm up, 6 x 2:30 hard / 0:30 easy and a cool down. I was home by 6:45 am, which is just as well, as I was being picked up at 7:15 am. It was lovely riding through the city centre so early. Hardly any pedestrians, no buses cluttering up the bus interchange, and very few cars.

I worked out how to handle the choice between the 5 k run and yoga dilemma. I realised that I could do both if I ran home from work instead of trying to get to the ACT cross country club run. I now have a goal to run home every Tuesday.

I was really well organised today - I even had the Aeroguard with me. I packed my fuel belt with powerade and water, and I had my running backpack. Considering I managed all this while dashing around this morning (of course I didn't pack last night) I am pretty proud of myself.

I was ready to head off running tonight when one of my sisters phoned me. It was her free time and she regularly calls me on her way home from work. In fact, we'd made arrangements to chat today when I called her yesterday. Instead of waiting until after our conversation ended, I decided to start walking while I chatted to her. I headed cross country instead of following the road way. I took the 'road less followed', a slightly more overgrown track, and found myself actually walking across a fence paling at one stage (not that the gully was all that deep).

Trish and I had lots to talk about, so I decided to investigate a new path rather than head back to the road. It was fun venturing into new territory. Thirty five minutes later we'd caught up on the latest and I was stuck on the wrong side of a small creek sort of thing. I decided I didn't want to get my feet wet so I went in search of a bridge.

By the time I'd reached the other side I'd covered about half the way home. I was around behind the War Memorial. I was tempted to walk the rest of the way, but I resisted and ran the rest of the way. It took me about 20 minutes to cover the remaining 2.7 km.

I have been meaning to add some maps of my runs for those of you who enjoy seeing them. Here's this evening's run.

You'll see where I got stuck at the creek and had to track back.

Because of chatting to Trish I ended up getting home just in time to have a shower and head out again to yoga. It was quite an active session. As usual there was stuff I couldn't do. There was a move where we were squatting, rested our knees against our triceps and then some of them lifted their feet off the floor. There were a few "lift yourself off the floor" moves. I don't think I managed it once. Clearly something to aspire to at some stage in the very distant future.

I had a few cramps in yoga but nothing like the last time. Even though I didn't drink much of it, the powerade seems to have helped. I only had a mouthful out running - it seemed way too sweet. Normally it doesn't. I finished off the rest of the bottle (about 250 ml) at home before heading off to yoga. It didn't taste as bad when I wasn't running. I'll have to try some of the other brands out there.

Well, I'm feeling pretty good about having come up with a way to keep yoga in my schedule. For tomorrow's exercise I'm thinking about cycling to work. I still haven't used my new paniers, so I'll have to come up with a stack of stuff to cart with me. Ok, ok, I do know that I don't have to fill them up to use them.

Kathryn, thanks for the link. JoJo, I want to keep the G rating on my blog. :-)

Monday, 12 November 2007

Weights session

First of all, thank you so much for the encouraging comments on yesterday's post. I arrived home tonight to read them, and it was lovely to receive them. It made my day. :-)

Tonight I went to the gym to do my weights session. It was a great workout. I've been thinking about what makes one workout great and another so so and I've come to absolutely no conclusions. This one just felt good. I managed to work up quite a sweat and I felt a real sense of achievement at the end of it.

I started off with a 10 minute warmup on the treadmill. I was looking at all the various options and saw a fitness test, so I gave that a go. Well, I'm below average. My VO2 was 29. Now, I've no idea what that means or what average fitness is, but I'll be able to check it again next time I feel the need to be told by a machine that I'm not fit. (I'm not at all upset by that. It's just a measure at a point in time.)

The 5 minute test started off with a warm up, which basically meant a 0 inclination for 1 minute at the speed I'd nominated. I selected the top speed in the range, as it was only 7.3. My heart rate jumped straight up to over 140 and ended up at 160+ after the warm up, when the inclination went to 5. I managed another 2.5 mins before knocking the inclination down to 3. When the next minute clicked over it jumped back up to 5. I lasted another 20 seconds at 5 then finished it off at 3. I was expecting a cool down, but it jumped straight to the "you're below average" commentary. I then dialled up another 5 mins of walking to finish off the warm up. Of course, now I'm going to have to do some research to find out what my VO2 should be. There's so much to learn about running.

I had one of those charmed sessions where every time I wanted a piece of equipment it was available. People were getting off equipment just as I wanted to use it. I basically did the same session as last time, so I won't go into details, apart from saying I managed one more chest press in the third set, I survived for 10 pushups, and I increased the weight on the single leg extensions from 16kg to 18.3kg. Mind you, I seriously considered using the increased weight as a reason for only doing two sets but I managed the third set.

That was something else that had me thinking. My left leg was burning for the last 2 reps in the second set and the last 5 reps in the third set. I was interested to see how my right leg compared. The second set was easy but I felt it for the last 3 reps in the third set. I was pondering this, as I don't think my left leg is that close in strength to my right leg. While I was walking home I remembered that I had to keep turning my abs back on while I did the left leg. I didn't have to do that with the right leg. I think that my left leg was probably recruiting my back muscles to help. At least, that's what I suspect is going on. I'm going to have to remember to ask Krissi about it on Friday. I like to understand what's going on.

I was doing the triceps exercise where you lift a dumbbell up and lower it down behind your head, while you try to keep your elbows in and still. Those recalcitrant elbows keep moving out slightly, no matter how hard I glare at them, although I'm much better at keeping them still. I used to have spaghetti arms but at least I now have an element of control.

Oh, I was doing the stretch for my achilles - the calf stretch where you bend your knee to get the stretch lower down. I must have been doing something right as I actually felt it today.

I still haven't decided about running or Yoga tomorrow so I'm going to get my gear ready for both, just in case. I've a chaotic morning, where I have to be at the pool at 6 am and at home ready to be picked up at 7:15 am. Thank goodness for my deadly treadly, as I'd never be able to manage it without. I had a theory that I'd be able to leave my gear at the gym on the way to the run, but they have removed lockers to put the sauna in, so I think that's a non-starter.

One of the running girls pointed out that the sauna has glass doors and is facing into the change room. I can see that if I do try it out that I'll be aiming for a very quiet time of day. Some of the sights in the change room are disconcerting to say the least. Not that they are anything like what goes on in the pool changing room!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Ben Donohoe Run and Body Balance

This morning I participated in the Ben Donohoe Run and Walk for Fun, which is an event that raises funds for paediatric brain tumour research. I ran with a few of the girls from the running group. Kelly brought her partner along too. We were quite early, as we had to pick up our numbers at least half an hour before the race, so we stood in the sunshine and chatted for ages. Fortunately, the run started pretty much on time. Oh, I went for a short warm up jog with one of the other girls. It was only short, but it reminded me that I CAN run.

They had over 1500 runners, which apparently makes it the second largest fun run in Canberra. That's a real credit to the organisers, as this was the third time the event has been run. There were two events, a 6 km and a 3.1 km. The guy who won the 6 km got over the line in under 19 mins. Kelly and I were at the 3 km mark in 22 mins so he was running more than twice as fast as us.

The run was around Lake Ginninderra in Belconnen. I've run around the lake once before, when I did the ABS fun run back in May. This was a slightly shorter course, however I found it really helped knowing what to expect at different stages. I ran it much faster back in May with my run / walk method (6:45 pace compared with 7:33 pace), but I ran the whole way without stopping this time, which was my goal for today. The splits were 6:55, 7:35, 7:45, 7:52, 7:53, 7:23, which is pretty even for me.

I was running well within myself today and didn't find myself struggling at all. I'm in a bit of a quandary at the moment with that aspect of my running. Clearly I could go faster but I'm enjoying running with Kelly so much. Part of me would like to run faster each time I run and part of me just wants to enjoy the run. I think it's time for me to revisit my running goals.

My current running goals are: 1. Have fun 2. Run without injury 3. Run three times a week, including a long run 4. Run outside at least once a week 5. Run for longer.

I'm having fun, so I can tick that one off. I'm pretty much running without injury. My knee is tired now but I'm not feeling any pain when I run and it's barely sore now. I've not been getting out for three runs a week lately, but I've been doing the pool running which I think makes up for it. I'm running outside at least once a week. I haven't increased my time out there lately so I'm not meeting goal number 5. Overall, I figure I'm about 70% meeting my running goals, so there's room for improvement. Running faster isn't on the list, so I don't need to worry about the times as long as I'm out there. Phew. I feel much better about today's time now. I got over the line in 45:44 for 6.06 km according to my Garmin.

This afternoon I went and did Body Balance at the gym. It used to be open from 9 - 12 on Sunday mornings, but it's now open from 2 - 6 pm, which is much more Sunday friendly. There were lots of women there when I arrived so I'm clearly not the only person who appreciates the new hours. Mind you, I nearly didn't get there. I had a nana nap this afternoon. Fortunately, I set the alarm so that I'd have the option of making the class. I think I'll be in bed early tonight too.

The new group fitness room is much smaller and I didn't think of taking my yoga mat with me. Apart from that, it was a good class. The new gym manager, Debbie, took the session. I was way up the back. It hadn't occurred to me that I'd have to rush in to get a spot. I'll know that next time.

I'm trying to work out what exercise I want to do tomorrow. On Tuesday I have pool running and I have to choose between doing the cross country run at 6 pm and Yoga at 7 pm. I don't think I can make it back to Yoga if I do the run. Still, I might give it a go.

Oh, the gym now has a sauna / detox room. I really enjoy saunas so I'll have to give it a go. They are going to have spray tanning as well, but I'm not at all bothered about having a tan. That said, I didn't think about sunscreen today and it probably would have been a good idea. I think I got away with it today, but it's something I'm going to have to remember. The Aeroguard would have been useful too.


I mentioned a few weeks ago that one of the women from my running group had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She came out to the run today to cheer us on. It was lovely to see her. She's had surgery and the news is positive. There's still a way to go, but it was reassuring to see her looking so well today.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Cardio equipment and rain

I went to the gym tonight to try out some of the new cardio equipment. I'm not at all keen on cardio machines so I tend to stick to the treadmill as my torture of choice. The gym is always quiet on a Friday night, which I like. I got there a little late, as I went home via JB Hi-Fi and Borders.

I remembered to take headphones with me to try out the tv's. I found that the music in the room drowned out the tv. I think my headphones are pretty worn out, so that might have been the problem. I did buy some new ones on eBay, but I haven't started using them because I packed them up in one of my 'sweep everything out of sight and pretend you're always tidy' houseworking frenzies. I'll have to see if I can excavate them over the weekend.

I tried out one of the new stationary bikes. It had a nice comfortable seat and it was easy to change the seat height but I couldn't work out how to set the program. It didn't pick up my HRM even though it said it was Polar compatible, but it didn't beep at me so I didn't mind. I used to really struggle to last any length of time on the bike. I aimed for 10 minutes today, and I worked hard for the whole 10 minutes. I managed to get my heart rate up over 150 which was pretty good for me. Obviously my outdoor cycling has made a difference.

After the cool down on the bike I went over to one of the cross trainers. I find these really boring. The tv didn't help much because I wasn't able to concentrate on the sound but again I found it easy to keep my heart rate up. The console looked much the same as the bike's but I was able to choose a workout and it picked up my HR. I managed to work hard for the 10 mins and then did the cool down. By then it was time to go as the gym was closing.

When I got outside it was pouring rain. I wanted to go to the supermarket on the way home. Instead of waiting the rain out under the awnings I decided to run through the downpour. I was drenched by the time I got there, but at least I wasn't stuck under cover. When I was at Uni we did a maths problem about whether it was better to run or walk in the rain. The solution was that it didn't matter, but I really enjoyed running instead of walking.

It was still raining when I'd finished my shopping. It's a few blocks to my apartment and there isn't much cover. I decided to venture out into the rain again. I remember telling someone last week how much I'd enjoyed being out in the rain as it's been so long since it realy rained here in Canberra and they accused me of enjoying jumping in puddles. Well, there were puddles galore. The streets were streaming with water. I had a huge smile on my face as I walked along. People probably thought I was crazy. The rain was so heavy that I was able to drink the water running down my face. It was fantastic. Mind you, I knew I'd be home soon and be able to dry off.

As I was walking along I realised that I'd have been one of the people stuck under cover if I hadn't started running outdoors in all sorts of weather. Thank goodness I finally got myself off the treadmill.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Pool running and Weights session

This morning I went pool running. It was the first time I'd done any proper exercise since Sunday. Because of the rest everything felt really good, as though all my little niggles were no longer there. I felt absolutely great in the water.

We are covering the half lap a lot faster now and I feel as though I'm working a lot harder. My arms weren't as tired today. I must be getting used to the water resistance. Today's session was 5 min warm up, 8 x 2:30 hard with 0:30 easy breaks in between, followed by a 5 min cool down and stretching.

I hadn't done any exercise since Sunday, partly because of travelling to Melbourne and partly because my left knee was sore. I had planned to do a 10.5 km run around Kororoit Creek on Tuesday morning, but I decided to skip it when my knee was hurting when I woke up. I think that wearing heels at work hasn't helped, so I've cut that right back (sorry, Style Consultant). I'll have to go shopping on the weekend for some less daggy comfortable shoes. I'll keep the heels there for the meetings where I want to create an impression.

This evening I was at the gym, which has reopened after being refurbished. It was interesting to see what they have done, but I was disappointed to learn that belly dancing was only available during lunchtime. As I work out of town I can't get to lunchtime classes. I'm glad I didn't rush out to buy the tinkling scarf. I do have a couple of belly dancing dvd's though, so I'll have to give them a go again. Hmm, maybe I can buy the bling anyway.

I reorganised my PT, as Krissi is leaving the gym. I've booked in with Julia, who I met this evening. She looks so young! I've seen her with her clients but I haven't really formed a strong impression of her. I guess I'll know what she's like soon enough. It was hard getting a session at a time that suited me. I've ended up with a Thursday evening for now. I'll see if I can get it changed to Monday.

The grapevine is working overtime at the moment, and I'm not at all sure what to expect from the gym now. I'm not going to discuss all the details here in my blog as it's in the public arena. It's certainly a hot topic of conversation. I was glad to see that they didn't have dozens of people in the classes that replaced Body Attack and Belly Dancing. In fact there were only three people in Body Combat and two in Body Pump. If there'd been a huge turnout then I would have felt that I had to be more understanding of the fact that they keep taking away classes that I enjoy because there's only half a dozen of us going, like Body Jam.

On the positive side, the new cardio equipment is rather impressive. I tried out a treadmill tonight, with a 10 minute warm up run. (Individual tv's for the treadmills haven't arrived as yet, so this is a limited review.) It felt really good underfoot. Because the belt is so new there was a scraping sound like sandpaper when I was running. I expect that will disappear with time. Once I have the earphones in to listen to the tv I won't notice it. I wasn't wearing my heart rate monitor and so the machine kept beeping at me to have my heart rate measured, which was a little annoying. It adjusted the speed down because my HR was too high, so I switched the program to cardio instead of fat-burning. That was a smooth transition, which is an improvement on having to start again when you decide to change programs. Once my HR was in the right range it was then going to adjust the elevation to keep it there, but as I kept taking my hands off the sensors it didn't actually do that. It will be interesting to see what it does when I'm wearing my HRM. At the end of the 10 mins the machine took me through a 3 minute cool down, adjusting the speed each minute.

I wasn't going very fast as it was just a warmup for my weights session and I didn't want to put too much strain on my knee. Afterwards, my knee felt fine. (It's tired now, but still fine.) I headed off to do lunges on the Smith machine, but there was no mirror on the wall. (Mirrors are coming.) I didn't like to do the lunges without being able to watch how my knee was tracking, so I went to the leg press machine instead. I had to unload a 20 kg weight as I'm only pressing 60 kg. (Lots of asides tonight. I'm constantly amazed by the weights some people press!) People never seem to unload this machine. I made sure I bent my knees and it was easy enough to do. I did three sets of reps. On the second and third I did the set with the halfway presses. It's much easier when Krissi has her hand there as a guide for me to know how far to press.

After this I went over to the leg extension machine. I started with my weaker leg at 16 kg, expecting to struggle, but I handled the first set of reps really well. I thought about putting the weight up but I decided to add a third set instead. The second set was easy too, but I was starting to feel it by the end of the third set. Chest presses were next and I did the warm up set of 15 presses at 10 kg. I added in the toss, which made the last few reps hard. I then did five pushups. At least I didn't collapse at the start, but I didn't push myself to do any more than five. I managed to get through the second set of 10 presses at 15 kg. The last few were a struggle. I only got through 5 in the third set. It's very different without Krissi there to push me.

The biceps and the triceps exercises went well. I skipped the dura disc as I figured my leg had done enough and there wasn't a rail to use for the band. I conveniently ignored the fact that I could have put the band around the Smith machine. I also skipped abs exercises. I thought about doing them, but I just didn't feel like it. I wandered off to the supermarket after the gym, bought healthy food, and then made a chicken salad for dinner. That's got to be good for me.

I don't think I'll be doing much more pool running. There's a good reason for that. Sally doesn't have stress fractures. She has something she can't pronounce. It's an inflammation of the sheath around the bone. She's got orthotics, is getting remedial massage, etc etc and, best of all, she's going to be able to do the Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge with us. That starts on 20th November, so we've only got one more week of pool running. I've really enjoyed it. Now all I have to do is translate it into swimming!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Women's Jogalong

This morning Kelly picked me up for the Women's Jogalong. We hadn't been sure what the weather was going to do, as rain had been forecast and it bucketed down last night, but all looked good at 7 am so we decided to risk it. The weather held up for us, which was great. I'd had visions of us running halfway around the course before getting drenched or, and I think this one was wishful thinking, of having to go out for breakfast instead.

Being seasoned jogalong women, we didn't arrive as early as last time. We also knew more about how it worked so we were both a lot more relaxed. Before the start we headed off for a warm up jog. I was feeling really good so I expected to enjoy the run. I love it when you know it's all going to go well before you even start.

We had a couple of goals for the run. Mine was to run the whole way, rather than run / walk. Kelly's was to manage the run better than last time as she took off too quickly and paid the price later in the run. The plan was for her to stay back with me at the start and then try to keep up with me at the end. I like the idea that anyone would be trying to keep up with me. I had a quiet chuckle.

Even though we had planned to run together I didn't realise that I would enjoy it so much. I usually run by myself, even when there's a group of us in an event, so it was a new experience for me. We didn't natter the whole way around but I will admit to a bit of chatting. Running a little more slowly also meant that I wasn't going through my normal "run too fast, struggle with my breathing then fall back to a walk before doing it all over again" experience of running.

Last time I ran the course in 43:39 and Kelly did it in 46:25. I would have liked to get around in under 42 but we ended up with a time of 45:02. That was great for Kelly and I realised we weren't going to make the time about half way through so I didn't sweat it. I was trying to take us out more slowly than I usually go and we did the first km in 6:55. The splits were still a bit all over the place - 6:55, 7:13, 7:32, 8:06, 7:25 and 7:49. I'm not sure what happened in the 4th km, although I do remember Kelly asking me to slow down because we were approaching a hill. I obviously overdid it!

I found myself having to slow down quite a few times, particularly when we were passing other runners. Clearly I speed up to pass and then forget to slow down again. Kelly has a much more steady approach when passing people. Towards the end I was feeling really strong and started having mad thoughts of tearing off into the distance for the last 1.5 km. I managed to resist these thoughts. Fortunately they didn't last long.

We ran a little bit faster for the last hundred metres, just to show that we could, and we were done. Of course, I forgot to turn off my Garmin straight away. I'll get the hang of it eventually.

All in all it was a great run - lovely surroundings, good company, comfortable pace and that wonderful sense of achievement you get from completing a run. No wonder I love running!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Personal Training

This morning I had my usual personal training session at Fernwood. I say 'usual' but there are changes at the gym again and I'll be going through the whole new trainer experience. Fortunately it won't seem so hard this time, as I won't be losing touch with Krissi after she leaves the gym. Apart from our running sessions, I've booked in to do the next Outdoor Group Fitness Challenge, which starts in a few weeks. I've also made up my mind to do an extra PT session with her once a week, on top of what I'm doing at the gym.

What's likely to be different is the gym itself. I've heard all sorts of stories about what's happening. The group fitness area is moving, there are going to be more cycles, the place is getting a general face lift and there will be more classes. It will be interesting to see how having a franchisor in charge affects the way that the gym is run. The impression I have already is that there are going to be a lot more rules and regulations for the staff. Of course, not working there myself, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. The gym has seemed to suffer from inexperienced management for a while, so I think it's probably going to be a good thing. Time will tell.

On a personal level I have to establish a new relationship with one of the Fernwood PT's. The main problem is that they aren't as experienced as my previous trainers. I guess we all have to gain experience by doing, but I'd prefer it if they'd practised on someone else instead of me. I wonder if this impatience with novice trainers is a sign that I'm getting old. "The youth of today .. " blah blah blah.

This morning I started with the usual warm up on the treadmill, then moved over to the leg press. I loaded one of the weights for the first time. Phew - those 20kg weights are hard to move. I did a warm up set of straight leg presses, then Krissi had me do two sets with five full presses, five bottom halves, five top halves and then five full presses again. It's amazing how much effort is required to get through a set. I really feel the top halves in my backside too.

I moved on to hamstring curls. I was really pleased with my form on these. I'm getting the hang of lifting my butt while I'm bringing my legs back in rather than afterwards. It's much easier on my lower back as well. I like these fitball exercises as the need to balance during the movement certainly engages a lot more muscles. Krissi rewarded my form improvement by adding a couple of extra reps to the last set. I'd expected her to do that on the first set, so I felt like I'd gotten away with something.

We then moved over to the Smith machine, where I did chest presses. I did the usual 10 kg warm up set of 15, only I was tossing the bar today. I can always feel the effect of that later. After the set I was supposed to do five pushups. I wasn't able to do the first one, which had Krissi laughing. After resetting I managed to squeeze out five very sorry pushups. As a superset I think I'd definitely left my super hero costume at home this morning.

Krissi added 5 kg to the bar and I managed to get through another 12 presses. I had a rest break without pushups and then tried another set. I managed to get through 10 presses, struggled through the 11th and then completely fizzled on the 12th. It was great!

I then did some shoulder presses with 4kg free weights, a set of upright rows with the bent bar and then a set of jack knifes. I watched Krissi demonstrate, thinking that I'd not manage them at all, but they weren't too bad. My core is definitely continuing to improve. A bit of stretching and then I was done.

The gym was closed for renovations this evening, so I gave myself the evening off. I had thought I'd be doing belly dancing, but I'd managed to mix up my days. Belly dancing was on last night. The gym reopens next Thursday so hopefully I'll remember to get myself to the class next week.

On Sunday I'm planning to do the women's jogalong with some of the girls. it will be interesting to see if there's any improvement in my time. I'm going to try to do the whole run without dropping back to a walk.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Pool running

A quiet day today on the exercise front. I met Sally at the pool this morning. It was an effort to get up and I doubt that I'd have made it on my own. It didn't seem as cold this morning when I rode off on my bike. The extra jacket I wore may have had something to do with that.

We did a session that involved two sets of 2:30 hard, 0:30 easy. We were working pretty hard, and I've been feeling a little sore all day. I guess it's the water resistance that makes the difference. It's good knowing I've worked hard, but it's not showing on my HRM. I read somewhere that my heart rate was likely to be around 10 lower than usual when I'm in the pool. I'll have to pay attention to what it is when I'm not in the pool.

This evening a group of my running buddies came over for a drink. We were going to play with my EyeToy but there wasn't enough light unfortunately. Anyway, we quickly adapted, settling around to eat, drink and chat. A good time was had by all.