Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Lots of exercise today

It was a hectic day today. Bootcamp this morning, followed by PT and a lunchtime walk. I'm feeling really tired now.

Bootcamp was at Lennox Gardens, which is a picturesque location, right beside Lake Burley Griffin. A popular meeting place for people heading off on runs with the ACT Cross Country Club or FIT (Females in Training) as well as for cyclists, it's also a great spot for bootcamp. This morning we had boxing, which I really enjoy. There's something about hitting things that is incredibly satisfying.

We warmed up, then did a series of box, exercise, hold the pads, exercise. The boxing sessions involved crosses, hooks, uppercuts and then a combo. The exercises were jumping lunges (small lunges, small jump, not as easy as it sounds), squats and starjumps. I still get the old "oh no, star jumps, I'm no good at them" feeling, but I managed the twenty star jumps each time without any trouble. Isn't it funny how your head plays with you? You'd think my mind would have caught up with the fact that I'm fit and healthy and well able to do a few starjumps.

After that we played ambush, which I love. It involves one person doing the boxing and the others taking it in turns to tag the person, run away, turn around and choose a pad position for the person to box. Anna, new to boxing with Krissi and Brad, was boxing first. She was in fits of giggles as she was running around and then boxing. I enjoyed seeing her have such a good time as I always feel like that when we play ambush.

After boxing I had my PT session with Krissi. Last week's run was a bit of a disaster as my knee was sore and we ended walking. This week we headed off on a flatter course and my knee was fine. We ran for 1:05 and I managed comfortably. That's the longest run I've been on so far. I really got into it today. The start was a little tough as my legs felt like lead, but I was breathing easily and my upper body was relaxed. I told my legs that it was ok to be tired but that we weren't stopping.

Krissi and I chatted away as we ran. I was also doing quite a bit of sightseeing. It was a beautiful morning. The sky was blue, the trees look so lovely with their new leaves, and there was no wind. It was picture perfect.

I got to work to find out that Lisa and Kirsty were keen to go for a walk at lunchtime. I didn't think I'd be up for it, but I decided to go with them when I realised that I was a bit stiff and sore. I figured that the walk would help me loosen up. We ended up walking briskly for 15 mins until we reached the top of a hill and then turned around and went back. I'm really glad that I went. The girls are good company and it's always good to have a proper break from work at lunchtime.

I'm waiting for TB to arrive home from work now. He was not at all keen to get up this morning for bootcamp, so it will be interesting to hear how he pulled up. I'm going to have a rest day tomorrow as I have the double bootcamp session on Thursday. I'm quite looking forward to sleeping in!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

More bootcamp, PT and family photos

On Thursday I did bootcamp twice! I was so hungry all day. Oh, and tired too.

In the morning TB and I headed off to Lennox Gardens for bootcamp with Krissi. It was a cardio session. It was the session with the medicine ball, where we head off in a line of pairs. The pair at the back carries the medicine ball until the trainer blows a whistle. At that point they hand it to the pair in front of them and run to the front of the line. On a double whistle, the whole group runs to the trainer. The first one there takes a card and the group then does the exercise. We ended up doing a variety of exercises, including pushups, walking lunges and crunches. There were a few "run to x" type selections and a couple of other group activities (overhead medicine ball relay for example).

I remember that I used to think this session was much harder. The difference for me is that the running isn't such a chore. I was enjoying myself this morning, so much at one stage that the people behind me were trying to get my attention to pass me the ball. Instead of paying attention I was running along, checking out the people rowing on the lake.

My knee held up fairly well. I looked after it when we did the walking lunges, so they (the lunges) didn't really hurt until the second half. We were running on the flat today too, which helped.

After bootcamp I headed off to work where I had a second bootcamp session lined up for lunchtime. I told the instructor, Billy, about my knee and he immediately diagnosed that it was an ITB problem. It always amuses me when people are so sure what your knee problem is, but his diagnosis matched with what I was thinking. I really can't remember hurting my knee. Given how much tender care I take of it I am sure that I would have noticed. Referred pain seems like the probable cause.

Anyway, it was smart telling Billy that my knee was sore, as he modified a few exercises for me. We started off with a skipping warmup. After checking whether or not I was feeling any pain when skipping, he got me to jump and turn the rope, rather than jump over the rope. I still got a workout and my knee didn't hurt as much.

We then used bands to pull each other along. Well, the person in the band tried to run while the other person held them back. Wow! What a workout. I was exhausted after my turn. A few turns of this was followed by boxing, another turn at the bands and squats. Billy likes his squats. At the end of the session, after we stretched, he massaged my ITB for me a little. It really hurt!

It was a great workout, and there's a real feeling of teamwork amongst the participants. In fact, I went walking at lunchtime on Friday with a couple of the girls who are doing the bootcamp. I could have gone for a run with a couple of the guys, but I was too too tired.

On Friday I had a weight session with Krissi. It was a fantastic session. We started off on the bike. Normally I warm up on level 6, then we dial it back to level 4 for me to do my intervals (one minute hard, one minute easy). On Friday I did the interval work at 6. It certainly felt a lot harder. I was sweating away in no time.

I talked to Krissi about the ITB suggestion. It made sense, given that I'd increased my running but hadn't really stretched last week. We discussed that the underlying problem was probably one of the poor muscles that I hadn't stretched. Krissi gave my legs a good stretch after my warmup and another at the end of the session. I am really pleased to announce that my knee is hurting a lot less!

Mind you, having a sore knee doesn't mean that you get an easy session from Krissi. I did three sets of fitball lunges with 7.5 kg weights. My arms felt like they were going to stretch to the floor during the first set. I didn't notice them in the second and third sets as my legs were shaking like jelly. I also did a couple of sets of calf raises. I love doing calf exercises at the time, as I am a little vain (cough) about how great my legs are, but I wish I hadn't done them for the next few days. Ouch!

I was exhausted when I got to work but I'd told Lisa I'd go walking with her at lunchtime. She and Kirsty were planning on a serious walk. I hadn't taken a change of clothes with me, so I got back into my sweaty PT gear. I promised to walk down wind from them! We headed off to the Campbell Shops. It took us 25 mins to get there, so it was a pretty decent walk by the time we got back to the office.

I slept so well on Friday night!

On Saturday TB and I were in Melbourne. We went to the Vic Markets via Southbank. I walked across town in sandals rather than in runners. More blisters. Breaking new shoes in is definitely no fun. I ended up buying some daggy thongs to wear back to the car. Thank goodness for the thongs though, as I haven't been able to wear shoes for the rest of the weekend.

On Sunday the whole family got together for a family portrait. It took a bit of organising, but it's done now. I'm looking forward to seeing the results. The photographer was fantastic. I'll post the photos in Facebook once we get them from her.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Boot camp, PT and a sore knee

This morning I had boot camp. I'm now doing two boot camps, one with 1-2-1 Personal Training (Krissi and Brad) two mornings a week, and one with the people from work (one day a week). I also have two PT sessions a week and twilight hockey, so I should have a base of six hours exercise a week plus extras for the next six weeks. Good going, hey?

This morning was the fitness assessment with 1-2-1. During the warm up jog my knee was a little sore. I haven't done anything to it recently, so I'm a little at a loss as to why it's hurting. It seemed ok after the warm up so I got stuck into the assessment activities. I made it to 4-1 on the beep test. I felt like throwing up when I finished, so I didn't feel as though I'd piked too early. I may have been able to push for one or two more levels but I don't think I would have lasted any longer. I managed 20 pushups on my toes and 31 on my knees in two minutes. I also managed 37 situps in two minutes. I have no idea what time I did for the agility test but I did the km time trial in about 6:22.

After boot camp I had my PT session. I was supposed to be going for a run. We ran the first part, but my knee was hurting on the uphills. We persisted a bit, but when it started hurting on the downhills we dropped back to a walk. I don't remember hurting it. Maybe it's referred pain from something else. I hope it sorts itself out.

I have boot camp twice on Thursday, which should be fun if my knee isn't still hurting. I'll keep it iced and see how it goes.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Gardening and running

I've discovered gardening. I hadn't realised just how much fun it was until recently, when TB asked me if I'd like part of the garden to grow vegetables. I enthusiastically said "show me a shovel" and I've been spending time in the garden ever since.

I find it all amazingly relaxing. Every morning and evening I go outside and examine my garden closely, checking to see that my plants have made it safely through the day or night, without being eaten by snails or succumbing to frosts. I've developed a warrior-like approach to insects and weeds. I talk away to the various plants, telling them that they'll thrive in their new location and admiring their sturdy growth. It's all a hoot. TB is a little taken aback by the gardening monster he has managed to unleash.

We're going to landscape the front garden shortly. There are some trees that are the wrong type for suburbia, with roots clogging drains. They are coming out soon. TB is drawing up plans and we've started to buy the larger plants. So far we have a magnolia, a lilac and a row of thujas sitting in the midst of my vegetable garden in pots. There are also a couple of daphnes in the fernery out of the sun. We've been looking at paving and at garden seats. It's all new to me, but TB has worked as a landscaper and as a paving contractor. I had no idea of the cost of building a garden from scratch. It's also interesting to watch TB plan it all out. At the moment we have some poles in the back yard, representing the heights of the various trees. We've been watching with interest to see where the shade is at what time of day, so that we can be sure that we don't end up planting sun-loving plants in full shade or vice versa.

As for running, I've been out several times with Krissi now. I imagine my blog while I'm running but I'm just not finding enough hours in the day to write them up. Most weeks I've only run the one time but I made it out twice this week, once with Krissi and once on my own. The run on my own was in Melbourne on Friday morning. I was there for work with a group of people. We stayed at the Travelodge at Southbank. I headed out at six am and ran around the Yarra for 50 mins. It was a lovely run. I've really been struggling to get out there without someone else, so I was particularly pleased by this run.

I had brunch with some of the running girls this morning at a nursery. How's that - combining gardening and running? :-)

I've been reading all your blogs but I haven't been commenting much. I'm enjoying hearing all your news. Keep it up everyone!