This week I travelled to Melbourne a couple of times. Instead of trying to squeeze all my activities in around my travel time, I decided that I'd make it a rest week. What a great idea! Instead of fretting over not running on Tuesday or having my PT session at the gym, I found myself thinking positively about rest and relaxation. I also managed to cut back on my eating to match my activity level - not as easy as it sounds.
Lately I haven't been blogging as much so I'm recording my exercise in a note book. I started just writing down facts like "Monday, cross-trainer, level 6, 15 mins + cooldown" but now I'm starting to keep notes of how I was feeling, what got in the way of exercise, etc. For example, I'd planned a 45 minute workout at the gym on Monday evening (weights + cardio) but had to change the program to 30 mins of cardio (15 mins cross-trainer, 10 mins treadmill + cooldown) because my landlord was finally replacing the carpet in my bedroom after the flood back at the beginning of December. My apartment's in the middle of being sold so I've had way too many requests for access at very short notice lately. Still, it's done now. I'd not use the carpet layers myself. They left a mess behind them and I wasn't at all impressed with the quality of the job but, hey, it's not my money and the landlord may have deliberately gone with the "Shoddy Jobs R Us" quote.
I travelled to Melbourne for two days of training that I had to have to be able to use a database that it would have taken me 15 mins tops to figure out how to use. The bonus was that the other work people couldn't attend so I was able to stay at home instead of doing the team bonding thing which involved way too much drinking and eating last time. I walked across town to get a lift home with my sister after work, and then walked back the next morning.
I noticed that my knee was a little sore on Tuesday. I had been going to run early on Wednesday morning but it was still sore when I woke up so I decided to officially call the week a rest week. I was on an earlier flight back to Canberra than expected but I decided to give the gym a miss. I called in for my Slim session on Thursday before heading off to play squash with Murali. I hate the Slim sessions with a passion, but it was measurement day. My clothes are definitely getting looser but I'd only lost a few cm since the challenge began. Still, every cm lost is a bonus. I put on 2.5 kg after the challenge started and it's finally come back off. I've managed to lose a grand total of 800g net in four weeks.
Poor Murali was in the wars on Thursday and so we only played for a little over half an hour. He hurt his calf muscle but he was doing that "I'm a guy, I play through pain and suffer later" thing. We were 1-1 when we had the "you should stop", "I'm not going to" discussion, so we compromised with a decider game, which I won. He may have been injured but that doesn't mean I have to show any mercy!
Given that I'd been counting on a good calorie burn from squash, I decided that I'd better cycle over to TNB's place after squash. It also meant that I'd be able to cycle to PT with Krissi in the morning, instead of dragging TNB out of bed to drive me to my 7 am session.
It was a great workout as ever. Even though I'd cycled over, Krissi had me do my regular 10 minutes on the stationary cycle. I find that a real drag but it is definitely getting easier to survive it. Krissi then stretched me, which I love. We followed that up with lunges with 4 kg weights. I had my back foot up on the step behind me. Krissi has been working on my technique and I am now dropping down better than I used to. I feel safer on my dodgy knee when my form is good, so I'm working hard to improve it. By the time we'd got to the second set of 15 reps on my stronger leg I was shaking, so I'm glad I started with my weaker leg first. I used to start with the good one first, but I've learned over time to do it the other way around.
We followed this up with hamstring curls on the fitball. I have been doing these for ages, with incremental improvements. Each time it starts getting easy Krissi works on my technique. Friday was another improvement day, which means my hamstrings were definitely feeling it by the end of the second set.
Krissi started me on 10kg with the chest press. It was difficult enough just to hold the weights, let alone lift them. Amazingly, with a featherlight touch on my elbows, Krissi got my arms moving enough to start. I managed to do eight presses altogether, with progressively more help towards the end. I then did a set with the 7.5 kg weights, which felt incredibly light. When we got to the 12th rep I was all set to stop but Krissi asked me for three more. I managed them, but it was hard hard work. My mind had stopped at the usual 12 and then had to restart again. Funnily enough, I've been a little sore in my strong arm since then. I would have expected it to be my left arm but it hasn't worked out that way. Weird, huh?
We followed that up with the lateral pull down. My technique has really improved on this one. I am getting the second set out pretty well, although the last few are still a bit hard. Triceps dips came next. I'm not at all keen on these, but at least I can do them now. I remember being really scared of them this time last year, so it's good to know that I can do them now. (I had this idea that I was going to fall and hurt my tailbone.)
After that Krissi dragged out a new instrument of torture, a half-ball with a resistance band attached. I did a normal plank on the ball for the usual one minute. I struggled my way through this as I was breathing more quickly than usual. Then Krissi upped the ante - a side plank, front plank, side plank for 10 seconds each. Now I have the worst side plank in the world. Trust me on this. I can see that I'll be working on the technique for this one for a while. We finished with 10 situps and then I was done.
After work I went to the gym to collect some WOW points (cross-trainer / treadmill combo). It's been a dreadful week for me with WOW points. I'm not all that interested in the challenge this year. I realised though that I'm in a team and I'll have to get my act into gear for them even if I'm not that concerned for myself. I figure that if I do the average then at least I'm not dragging them down. I just have to work out what the average is now.
I started a sore throat on Friday night and now I have a cold. I am not a good patient as I'm rarely sick. I am indulging in Lemsip in between bouts of coughing and spluttering. I am meeting Kathryn for a run tomorrow. I've left her a message to let her know that it might be a pretty sorry excuse for a run. I'm going anyway though, as I'm taking my nephew Andrew with me. He's a mad keen Carlton supporter and we're off to Princes Park. I figure that he can bring a footy and run around pretending to be Chris Judd.
Oh, hilarious sequel to my puncture story. I'm going to have to learn when to keep quiet about newly acquired skills. Sandra's boys haven't been riding their bikes as much as usual lately. She finally figured out why. Andrew has a flat tyre. He thinks that means he needs a new bike. Sandra thinks that Aunty Kathy might just be able to teach Andrew how to fix a puncture. Anyway, after the run we're off to the local bike shop (LBS) to buy a puncture kit and then we're going to fix his bike. I never imagined the day would come when I would be teaching my nephew how to mend a puncture.
I'm thinking of buying a bike down here in Melbourne so I can go riding with my brother-in-law. He's the only person in my family who's likely to go riding with me! He's quite keen. I suspect if we start cycling, my brother and sister-in-law might join us, which would be good fun. There is a great bike path from Werribee to Williamstown that I'd like to try out. Who knows, one of these days we might end up doing the Great Victorian Bike Ride.