Thursday, 31 July 2008

Interval running

Another night at boot camp and another weary, yet happy, blogger. Tonight it was interval running. That's one session that I love in a kind of 'it's going to hurt but I'll be really glad I did it' way. In fact, during the session one of the girls said "I hate running" and I wasn't able to say "I love it" because of the 'it's hurting' factor. I was able to say "I love what running does for me" in between desperate gasps for breath.

We started off with a warm up that would have killed me when I first did interval training. We ran around the school footy oval, with side steps, grapevines, high knees and boots to glutes at various stages, then we did it again. I remember when I first did interval training I couldn't run the whole way around the oval without stopping to walk. Now I can do it twice!! (Did you notice that twice required two exclamation marks?)

A bit of stretching then we were into the the actual intervals. The first session required us to run a lap then recover while our partner ran a lap. I think I managed to run my laps faster than I ever have before. Five laps later and I was amazed that I hadn't melted into a puddle of 'I can't do this' goo.

Fortunately we went to half laps which seemed so much achievable, except for the 'it's a shorter distance so it requires a quicker pace' factor. I hate that factor. Mind you, I was really pleased that I managed to find another gear. I think having TB at boot camp helps a lot, as I want to impress him with how hard I'm working. Hearing him say "Well done Kathy" encourages me to keep on going when all I really want to do is stop.

We finished off the interval training with third laps, which again needed to be quicker. I remember only having two running paces - a fast wobble and a slow lurch. Now I have an 80%, a 90% and an 'I think I'm going flat out' pace. Well, I like to kid myself that I have those paces.

It started to get too dark to run fast, so we switched over to a circuit type of activity - a reverse pyramid of modified sit ups, a short run, push ups, and run back. We started off at 10 and the group finished when I got to 1. I was glad I wasn't faster than me as those lucky souls started the pyramid in reverse. The whole group did 1 with me at the end though and they were all delighted when I did that last push up.

An aside: TB and I went to Melbourne on the weekend, where he was lucky enough to meet the rest of my family, including my parents. I'm clearly going to have to rent myself a normal family. On Saturday night we were supposed to be having dinner with Mum and Dad and two of my sisters. Instead it turned into a "National Nanna's Day" party, with various grandchildren, a couple of Nannas, the Nanna's day costume of purple wigs, pink rubber gloves and purple slippers, and purple balloons everywhere. TB survived the occasion and I'm not suddenly single again, so I guess the evening went well.

We went to the Vic Markets on Sunday followed by the Carlton vs Footscray game at Telstra Dome. I'm a Doggies supporter and TB is a Blues supporter. He was delighted in the result. Dinner in Little Bourke Street at Kun Ming's (an old favourite of mine) and Monday off work. It was a great weekend.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Exercise update

I'm just home from boot camp. TB and I are still going strong - Mondays and Thursdays at 5 pm. I thought the early start would be a struggle, getting away from work, but I just leave at 4:30 and nobody complains. Well, not to my face. The sessions will get moved to a later time slot as the days get longer.

I'm really proud of TB. He is the only person who has made every session since boot camp started. He works really hard at the sessions too, which has definitely inspired me to put in more effort.

Tonight's session was circuit training. We did a running drills warmup, which I quite enjoy, then a rotation of three leg exercises (shuttle run, squats, lunges), three abs exercises (side bends, plank, crunches) and three upper body exercises (military press, pushups, lateral raises). We did them for 1 min each, then twice through for 45 secs a time, then 30 secs each. By the end it was such an effort to lift my arms. It was too dark to run safely for the third rotation so we replaced the shuttle run with a theraband abductor exercise.

I really like training at the War Memorial. It's a lovely setting and it has a whole "this national monument is my space" kind of feeling. We end up having our photos taken by Japanese tourists a lot though, which is quite amusing.

As for the rest of the week, I played hockey on Saturday, went to boot camp on Monday (we walked up Mt Ainslie really fast - that's hard work) and had PT at the gym on Tuesday. Wednesday was a rest day, which is just as well as I was in Melbourne for work. Tomorrow I have PT with Krissi, which is always a challenge, and then TB and I are off to Melbourne for the weekend. We're going to the Footscray vs Carlton match on Sunday and TB is getting the added bonus of meeting the in-laws. It should be fun.

Friday, 18 July 2008

I went running today

This morning I went for a run with my personal trainer, Krissi. It's been so long since I've been out for a run. Last week at PT I told Krissi that I was ready to start running again and that all I needed to do was get out there. Well, she got me out there.

Now, when I go to PT I always wear my running bra and shoes 'just in case'. It's been so long since Krissi has taken me out running that I have stopped bringing my running jacket. I was about to head out in short sleeves (hey, it was 2 degrees, that's a heat wave in Canberra at this time of year) when Krissi magicked me up a long sleeved running top that actually fit me and a pair of gloves. I'm glad she did.

Last night at boot camp we did running drills, so I was already a little sore. Krissi's partner, Brad, is my boot camp instructor, and when he heard that Krissi was taking me out for a run he cautioned that I might be sore. "Sore?" Krissi tells me she scoffed. "Kathy's never sore." Silly me, I realised. In my weekly chats with Krissi while she tortures me for an hour with chest presses and planks and other assorted exercises, I've let it slip that I don't feel sore for long after exercise. Mind you, when she suggested a run she checked how I was feeling and if I thought I'd be up for it. To my horror, "Sure I will" came out of my mouth instead of the more sensible "I'm playing two hockey games tomorrow and my knee is a little sore, maybe I should file my nails or something" that should have come out. I think I have to get my brain to mouth interface checked out. It's clearly not working properly.

In fact, I was delighted to go for a run with Krissi. It was exactly the motivation I needed. I knew Krissi would drag me out further than I wanted to run, and I knew that she wouldn't push me too fast. The "I've got to keep running because I'm with someone" pride factor would also kick into operation. Mind you, I had in mind a gentle little run with walk breaks, although there was no way that I'd admit that to Krissi. Out we went, along a familiar running trail. I knew exactly what to expect and I knew that I could make the distance. Mind you, that didn't stop my brain from wanting my legs to stop. The beauty of it is that I was able to ignore the impulse and keep going.

All up, we covered around 6.5 km. Krissi thinks I was running better than when we did a similar run several months ago. All I can put that down to is that I've been working hard at boot camp to improve my pace, the cycling had kept my cardio fitness up (although I haven't done much lately), and the hockey had kept me running (even if it was in short bursts followed by severe and lengthy panting sessions).

I was stiff and sore at work today, but I'm feeling pretty good now. Mind you, that's because I'm going to head to bed early! I'm exhausted.

Oh, and an added bonus of being out there running this morning - I felt virtuous all day. I love that feeling.

As for my blogging - I haven't blogged for a while because I felt like a bit of a fraud. All I've been doing is boot camp a couple of times a week, PT twice a week and hockey on the weekends I'm in Canberra. It's all pretty easy and well within my comfort zone. I haven't been cycling because of the fog (TB worries about me) and the cold (I worry about me). I haven't been running. In general I feel like I've been pretty slack.

So today was doubly good. I'm back out there running! Yay, I'm a runner again. And I'm back blogging about my running. Hi everyone. It's great to be here again.