I've just arrived home from a bike skills session. It started at 8:30 and went until around 11. With riding there and home again I've been out on the bike for a little over three and a half hours. We covered about 13 km all up on the cycling course, and I travelled another 18 km to get there and home again, so I've ridden more this morning than I would normally ride in a couple of weeks. Needless to say, I'm feeling it!
We met up in a car park and worked on basic skills for the first part of the session, like stopping, gears and riding with one hand off the bike. We then went for a short ride to a public toilet - I guess showing us the public toilets is a pretty handy part of the course. This was followed by morning tea and then we ventured out onto the road. We were in the parliamentary triangle, which is fairly quiet on weekends. We rode "around the block" for a while, turning left each time. When we're on the road we're in single file - none of this bunch stuff for us yet. It's hard enough trying to stay close to the bike in front without having to worry about riding beside someone.
We finally did a right hand turn. There was absolutely no traffic which helped. We then did a different block with a bit of a hill, to see how the gears would help, then we rode up a "big" hill to Parliament House. I was expecting to struggle up the hill but it wasn't all that big. It was long but nothing like the ones I ride up when I do manage to ride to work. We then rode around Parliament House then headed back to the car park. A few stretches, a chat about next week's ride (around the lake and involving scones!) and then I headed home to my place. I was riding on familiar turf but I could see a definite improvement in my confidence. That's what I'm after from the course so I'm pretty pleased with how it's going.
As for the weekly exercise update - I've ridden my bike a couple of times since Tuesday, went to the group PT session for the WOW program on Wednesday, visited the gym and played squash with Murali on Thursday, and had PT with Krissi, did a gym session and went to a balance class on Friday. I really should try to make the effort to go to the gym now, but I am going to skip it today. The bike riding feels like enough.
The group PT session was not at all fun, yet it was a great workout calorie-wise. I was feeling cranky at the beginning, and when we got to the outdoor venue I realised we were going to do lots of stairs. I should have spoken up about my knee but I didn't want to be the "difficult one" in the group, so I kept quiet and did the stairs. And did the stairs. And did the stairs.
There were three flights of stairs, a total or 37 steps all up. We ran up them and walked down them four times as a warm up. Then we went up two and back down, up four and back down, etc doing 10 pushups each time after we did four steps. That's a hell of a lot of pushups. I did the first four sets on my toes, then dropped to my knees to find that the concrete had a crushed, pebbled surface. I managed a few sets before giving up and moving to wall pushups. I was even more cranky by then. I decided to suck it up and kept on going. I even did the final set of pushups on my toes, but they were pretty much baby pushups. It was 170 pushups all up.
After that we moved over to the fountain to do step ups. I did speak up about my knee then, and found a place on the fountain to do small step ups. Back up the stairs to do our abs work, which involved crunches and the plank and then we headed back to the gym. I've been feeling the effects ever since. I have such sore calves. Fortunately my knee wasn't too bad after all those stairs. I could feel a twinge on the Thursday but it wasn't bad enough to stop me playing squash.
On Thursday morning I concentrated on upper body but I also did the hip abductor (3 sets of 12 reps x 2 at 30 kg) as I figured the stairs didn't really test those muscles. I could be wrong of course. For my back I did the seated row - 3 sets of 12 reps at 23 kg, and the bent over row - 3 sets of 12 reps at 15 kg. I then did the chest press using 9 kg. I managed to get out 1 sets of 12 reps but I only got to 8 on the second set. Room for improvement. I then did a shoulder press - 2 sets of 12 reps at 4 kg and a triceps exercise that I don't know the name of - 2 sets of 12 reps with 5 kg.
Murali beat me in 3 on Thursday at squash. That's a first and he was delighted. I won the next two at least.
PT with Krissi was great. After the obligatory ten minute warm up on the bike and stretching we did boxing. It's such fun. Two minutes on, two minutes off - crosses, hooks, uppercuts, and then a couple of combos. We finished off the session with some leg work, lunges and hamstring curls. In the evening I did some more arm work and then did a balance class with Marjorie. All in all, it's been a pretty good week of exercise.