Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Hockey, Bootcamp, PT and a run

First of all, TB came out running with me tonight. That's awesome. I am so pleased. My goal is to get out there running but it's not as easy as it sounds when you're out of practice and it's cold outside. I came up with a plan to overcome the "it's easier to stay inside where it's warm" factor this evening. I phoned TB before I came home from work to tell him that I planned to go for a run. My reasoning behind the phone call was that if I told someone else my plans it made it much harder for me to change them. I never expected him to join me.

I arrived home, prepared some stuffed mushrooms (yum) and then got myself changed into my running gear. I invited TB to walk with me as I know it's hard for him to run at my pace. He decided to run with me though, which was terrific for me, as it meant that I kept running the whole way. I also didn't have to think about where we were going. I told TB I wanted to run for 30 mins so he chose the route.

We went along a route that we'd walked in the past so I knew what to expect in terms of hills. We were a little faster than he'd expected, although it was a slow run overall. We were out for 25 mins and covered 3.25 km, including a few long hills. We've stored the run in Sports Tracks so that we can do better next time. I have a feeling I have my own personal cheer squad for running now. At least for a while I hope. :-)

As for hockey, I played on Saturday. The woman I was marking was so much faster than me! I just couldn't keep up. After struggling for a while I was moved over to the other side of the field. The girl who took over my job managed much better. I was feeling a little disheartened until I realised that I was 28 years older than her! Mind you, the fast chick was older than me. Sigh. We were beaten 4-0. Still, it was a good workout. There's one more game this season, unless we accidentally manage to get into the finals. It's possible (we win, someone else loses) but not likely. After that, I'm planning to play social hockey on turf over summer.

It was the last bootcamp for a while. We did the fitness assessment. I crashed and burned on the beep test. I was running along and suddenly felt sick. I pulled out much earlier than I expected rather than throw up. I was quite miserable about it, as I'd really looked forward to seeing how much I'd improved. Anyway, once it had happened it had happened. I guess it was a 'suck it up princess' moment. Most of my other measurements were lower, because my form has improved so much. For example, at the first session my pushup count was 20 on toes, 18 on knees. On Monday I managed 15/15, but they were much better pushups. I did manage to improve on the agility test, which is something I always like to see.

As for PT on Tuesday, it was my second last session with Julia. My knee was a little sore from Monday night (walking lunges after the fitness assessment) and I was really tempted to ask for a free pass on the leg work, but I decided to tough it out. I survived the squats and walking lunges (so much easier indoors). The chest superset seemed easier too. Julia had a sore back so I tried to make sure I collected the weights instead of her. Easier said than done, as she has the habit of looking after her clients instead of the other way around.

Now that bootcamp is finished I'm trying to work out what I'm going to do to keep my activity level up. If TB will run with me a couple of times a week, that's going to be a big help. Fingers crossed.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Personal Training with Krissi

I had an awesome PT session this morning. I don't know what it is, but sometimes I am just so strong when it's that time of the month. I was smoking hot!

After getting myself there without being too early (it's no fun sitting in the car when it's cold) or too late (I hate being late!) I climbed the two flights of stairs to Krissi's apartment. My knee was grumbling slightly on the stairs but didn't make any noise at all on the flat, which delighted me, particularly the day after Mt Ainslie. Mind you, I was puffing by the time I got to the second floor. I waited at Krissi's door, subtly catching my breath, and trying to look like I'd just arrived. I don't know if I fooled her at all, but I felt better pretending that I wasn't a beached whale.

The session started with the now fairly usual 10 mins warmup on the bike followed by 10 mins of intervals. I have the resistance at a higher level during the warm up, then it gets knocked back a couple of levels while I go fast for a minute, recover for a minute. The 21st minute is meant to be flat out, and Krissi had me changing my grip today. I had to admit to her (when will I learn? when will I learn?) that I found today's session easy, so she's going to crank it up a level next week. Sigh.

We then moved on to squats. I've been doing my squats with 40 kg on the bar, so that's where we started. It was easy, so we upped the ante to 45 kg for the next two sets. Usually I wobble all over the place getting used to an increase in weight, but I didn't wobble at all today. The last few reps were hard, I was panting and I was sweating, but my form was good. Yay me!

We followed this up with hamstring curls. Apparently my form was good, which is always nice to know, but I was finding them hard work. My hammies and glutes were a bit tight from yesterday's hill climb. I got through the three sets and Krissi had me straight over to chest presses. All I really wanted to do was lie there, flat on the floor, for the rest of the session.

Once I was on the bench though, I was into the chest presses. I did the first set without any trouble. I expected to, because we hadn't done any arm work the night before. On the second set the weirdest thing happened. I pretty much failed on the 8th rep, then did the 9th rep without any trouble at all. It's not at all what you expect to have happen. I struggled through the rest of the set making it to 12 with a mixture of assistance from Krissi and sheer determination. The third set followed pretty much the same pattern, although I didn't manage any reps on my own after I started needing help at 8.

Then it was abs work. Krissi has me doing these crunches, pushing a small pink ball up into the air (20) followed by oblique crunches, pushing the ball towards her hands while keeping my butt on the floor (20). They sound harmless but it's a good workout. I then did a lousy bridge. My form is much better but my abs were exhausted. Still, it's all progress. I staggered down the stairs, jumped into my little car and tootled off to work, feeling incredibly virtuous and amazingly strong all day.

I'm completely knackered now though. I'll be tucked up in bed in no time.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Personal training and Mt Ainslie

On Tuesday night I had PT with Julia. We've been working on a new program for the last few weeks. It involves fitball squats with 8 kg weights, walking lunges with 5 kg weights, a superset for my chest consisting of flys - 4 kg and press - 10/9 kg, seated row - 25 kg, and hip abductors with 34/32 kg. We're working through two sets of 15 reps for most things at the moment. Just 12 reps for the chest though thank goodness. I struggled to get eight reps out with 10 kgs in the first set of chest presses this week, then finished the set with 9 kgs. I didn't even consider 10 in the second set.

I'm coming to the end of my PT sessions with Fernwood. I looked into buying some new sessions, but I realised that the cheapest way I could get an hour session was probably going to cost me a minimum of $70/hr. If I buy sessions in bulk from Krissi I get a better rate, so that's what I'm going to do once bootcamp finishes. I'll miss the sessions with Julia, but I've figured out that I can catch a cycle class with her once a week. That will give me the motivation to go to the class.

I'm working out how to keep up the same amount of exercise once bootcamp is over. The cycle class covers one session and my squash partner has recovered from injury so that takes care of the other. I've asked TB what his plans are after bootcamp and he's talking about going to the gym. I don't want to count on that though, as we've hardly used our Club Lime gym membership.

Today was bootcamp - the second last one for TB and I. We're missing the last session as TB has booked us into a networking session. He's developing a business plan and is keen to go to this, so I'm going along for moral support. I guess I'll be exercising my talking muscles!

Brad always has a first aid kit with him. The size of the first aid kit usually indicates the type of activity. This one fit into a bum belt, so we were out and about. Tonight we were headed up Mt Ainslie. The last few times we've walked up as fast as we were able. That's a pretty good workout. I'm always a bit sore the next day because my knee doesn't appreciate the downhill part of the walk. I'm finding that I recover faster each time though, which is reaassuring. It also means that all the work that I'm doing on strengthening the muscles around my knee is paying off. It's good to know that it's worth the effort.

Brad managed to add a twist tonight. We were running part of the way up the hill. He suggested a minute of running followed by thirty seconds recovery. I did the first minute but it took me a minute to get my breath back. I managed a grand total of nine or ten running intervals. I was exhausted! Still, as ever, it was a great workout.

Hopefully 1-2-1 Personal Training will be running another bootcamp soon. :-)

Monday, 18 August 2008

More running

Two posts in one day! This will be a short one though. At bootcamp tonight we did more running. How my legs complained when we started the warmup. "What?" they said. "What? What?" I think they would have said a lot more if they could have managed it.

Tonight's bootcamp session was a circuit. The only problem with Brad's idea of a circuit is that he likes to include a lot of cardio. We were split into two groups, one doing the exercise and one doing a shuttle run. Once we'd swapped, then we all did abs work. Exercises included a shoulder press, squats, walking lunges, bicep curls, pushups, lateral raises, and forward raises. Abs work included planks (twice!), side planks, partner situps, crunches, crunches and more crunches. By the end of it I was ready to stay exactly where I was, lying on the ground with a weight on my tummy as my arms couldn't hold it any more. Thank goodness TB was driving.

It was pretty chilly out there too, even though we were running every 4-5 mins. I enjoyed my long hot shower when I got home.

One benefit of taking time off - I got to see Emma Snowsill and Emma Moffatt compete in the triathlon. What a great result.

Em, hockey at my grade is nothing like what you see on tv. Mind you, there was an ambulance at the field when we arrived last week. No blood though.

Hockey and running

This morning I made it out for a run. Considering that I signed up for the Run it Off challenge on Friday it's about time. I thought about running on Saturday morning Thinking about it was as far as it got. Snug and warm in my cosy bed, I was easily able to convince myself that I'd do plenty of running at hockey that afternoon. On Sunday morning I was too sore to contemplate going for a run but at least I had been right about hockey. I also bought myself a new pair of running shoes. :-)

I've been finding it really hard to get up and go running. There's the cold factor. The radio announcer mentions the negative temperature and I'm convinced that another half an hour in bed is a better option. There's the "it's dark outside" factor, which is rapidly becoming a non-starter. There's the "it's been so long since I went running that I can't run anymore" factor. I'd like to blame the radio announcer but that one is strictly in my own head. There's the "I'm so fat that none of my running clothes will fit me anymore" factor, which, according to the scales, is not at all true but it sounds fair and reasonable at 6 am.

I was lying in bed this morning, working out a way to eliminate the various factors, when the obvious answer jumped into my head. Run later in the day. That eliminates the dark factor and adds more than a few degrees to the temperature. I'm having a few days off work at the moment, so I decided that I'd go running after all the kids had been dropped at school.

What a great idea. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, I'd looked up my weight at the start of the year and reassured myself that I'd only put on 1.5 kg since January, and I reminded myself that I'd run pretty well at hockey on Saturday. I set a realistic goal of heading out for 30 mins and I told myself that the real achievement was to get my backside out there. It didn't matter how far I went or how fast I ran as long as I was running.

TB was incredibly helpful. I'd planned a nice flat route along the bikepath towards town. He suggested that I run in the opposite direction as there were some good hills that way. Instead of punching him, I followed his advice. To my surprise I didn't do too badly on the hills, although I have to admit that I did walk part of the way. My "trusty Garmin" showed that I climbed a little over 60 m. I managed to go down even further, ending up 7 m lower than when I started. I'm not exactly sure how I managed that. I kind of expect the house to be at the same elevation when I get home as it was when I left. Maybe it's the earth's rotation.

I ran 4 km in 30 mins, which wasn't too bad. 7.5 mins/km in fact. It was a comfortable run and I am feeling terrific. I got out there, I survived, and I'm keen to do it again. Aren't these challenges wonderful?

Mind you, TB has been given the job of chief motivator and Kathy-out-of-bed pusher. We'll have to see how that goes. My secret goal is to get him out there with me. Shhh.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Well, I did it

I've thought about doing this all year and I've finally done it. I've signed up for the Runner's World Run it Off challenge.

Krissi took my photo and measurements this morning. I didn't have to go to any trouble to have a bad before photo. I had 'bed hair' and it was one of 'those' days when any photo is just going to look awful. Mind you, Krissi still had instructions for me to make the photo look worse. It was all quite entertaining and I was struggling not to laugh. Fortunately, the only way that any of you are going to see the photo is if I end up in the magazine. Phew!

You know what this means of course. I have to get out there and run. I have been agonising over whether or not I would try to use one of the "Spring into Shape" runs as my run, but I really don't have the desire to travel to Melbourne as often as I did. That's partly because I'd rather be with TB and partly because I'm doing a fair amount of travel for work. There really is a limit to how many times you can enjoy waiting for a plane that's been delayed.

This decision ended up being a big one. I'm now officially a resident of Canberra. I've been a Melbourne commuter all this time so it feels a bit strange. It feels like a good decision though.

I just looked at the title of this blog entry, and well, I did a couple of things, didn't I?

Sunday, 3 August 2008

PT and Hockey

On Friday morning I had my weekly torture session with Krissi. I got ready the night before, telling TB that I wasn't going to take my running jacket with me as there was no way I was going to run with Krissi after interval training. TB told me I was "soft" so I packed the running jacket and prayed for rain. The rain came during the night, so it was a warm 7 degrees when I arrived at Krissi's. Fortunately she'd decided against running, so it was off upstairs to the studio for the usual workout.

Lately we've been starting off with ten minutes on the stationary bike, followed by ten minutes of 1 minute fast, 1 minute recovery, then a final "flat out" minute just to make sure that I'm completely exhausted. I hated the workout the first time I did it. Fortunately, I described it to TB, who made me realise that I really hadn't tried that hard during the fast minutes. Since then I've tried to do less talking and more puffing. I still seem to have something left in the tank for the final minute, but I'm certainly working harder. Strangely enough, I'm enjoying the session more now that I'm trying. (I hope that the lack of entries lately means that Krissi has stopped reading my blog. Otherwise, I'm in big trouble next week.)

I've been doing squats with a barbell. I always thought I'd never do those, as they (a) don't look all that safe when you see people doing them at the gym and (b) looked way too hardcore for a princess like me. Doing them with Krissi spotting makes them seem much safer and I've learned that it's ok for a princess to be hardcore. It was quite amusing when we first started. I had trouble holding the bar straight. Krissi started me on a lower weight so that I could get the technique under control and so that she could check that my dodgy knee was tracking properly. I'm now doing them with 25 kg on the bar (approx 40 kg). I managed three sets without any trouble on Friday so I'm sure that the weight will be going up next time.

After the squats it was time to do hamstring curls. I do these with both trainers, so they are looking pretty good at the moment. I then did chest presses. I managed the first set of 12 by myself, the second set I got to about 10 on my own, and I faded out completely at 8 in the third set. I was disappointed in these a few weeks ago, but Krissi pointed out that I'd been doing upper body work at boot camp on Thursdays and so it was reasonable that I'd gone backwards. I can see the improvement happening again, but I'll be really pleased when I get three sets out without failing.

I had a bit of a laugh, as I told Krissi that I used to aim to get to six on my own in the second set and now I aim for eight. While I was telling her I could feel my face screw itself up into this determined expression that I'm pretty sure she doesn't normally see. I explained that the expression was how I looked on the inside when I was driving myself to reach the target. I realised that I didn't actually pull the face on the outside as all my concentration was focussed on lifting the bar.

Oh, Krissi gave me a tip for getting one or two more lifts out after I think I can't do any more. I do the chest press lying on the bench with my feet in the air. The idea is to keep my back flat and to stop me from arching my back to lift. When it gets tough, locking on my abs to lift my legs a little seems to give me the extra "oomph" to raise the bar. Sounds odd, but it definitely works.

I did three sets of lat pulldowns, concentrating on using my back and keeping my shoulders down. Then it was abs work. Instead of letting me off today, Krissi was picking on my form when I was doing the plank. I had to concentrate on keeping my butt down. My abs were burning. I'd already worked them hard and they did not want to cooperate. I was so glad to hear the timer go off after a minute. 24 crunches later (ordinary and oblique) I was hoping we'd finish but we repeated the combination one more time. It was a great session.

On Saturday afternoon I had a hockey match. The last time I played I drove over to the ground instead of walking. I realised that it meant that I'd missed out on my warmup. I live about 1 km from the ground, and the walk is just enough to loosen my muscles up. I've also started jogging around the ground before the game. There's only one other woman on the team who does this. We don't even go out for a hit up. We're pretty slack.

It was a good game. I got to do plenty of running as we were in attack a lot and then they would get a break so it was all systems go, sprinting back to the circle. We managed to win, which is always good. The weather held up for us too. The forecast had been for rain, but it held off, and it wasn't as cold as the last few games have been.

I had a relaxing Radox bath when I got home, then fell asleep on the couch. I was exhausted!

Today we wandered off to the Hall Markets. Not quite the Vic Markets, but enjoyable for all that. The rest of the weekend should be pretty quiet.

Oh, I've set myself a target to get to the gym three times a week to do cardio. I've been pretty slack about going to the gym. I figure I may as well make use of my membership. We'll see how it goes.