Saturday, 6 December 2008

Quiet week

It's been a quiet week on the exercise front. My morning bootcamp finished last week, I missed the midday bootcamp because of a work trip, and hockey is over until next year. My regular six hours of "booked" exercise has come down to two PT sessions, one bootcamp and a circuit session. I'm going to have to find some self-motivation and get my backside out there. Mind you, I did enjoy spending most of the week without the aches and pains that accompany bootcamp.

On Friday a week ago I had my usual weights session with Krissi. To my relief she had her new exercise bike. It's more like the cycles used in spin class at the gym. Krissi cranked up some RPM tracks and we were away. It was a really different session to the old bike. I certainly ended up dripping with sweat. I don't think I'm fit enough to do an RPM class as I was dying after 20 minutes. Krissi regularly ends up training a ghost for the second half of our sessions.

This week I got on the bike and the seat was broken. Yes, you guessed it. Stairs. I was running up and down stairs like they were going out of fashion. On the down side of the equation, my run is kind of a quicker version of walking, as I'm convinced I'm going to fall. I am starting to pick my feet up faster though, so I'm getting more confident.

The first set of reps involved running up two flights of stairs, doing squats at the top, then repeating. I was puffing away like a steam train as I did my 20, 15, 10 squats. It was such a relief to have the rest break. The second set of reps was similar, only it was 10, 8 and 5 pushups. The third set seemed harder, as Krissi had me coming up the steps two at a time on the second flight of stairs. I struggle with two stairs at a time. My explanation is that I'm short, although I think it's really that I never do it. The first time I didn't know what to do with my hands and had to fight to keep myself from grabbing the rails. I realised that if I used my arms the way I did for single stairs at least I wouldn't be grabbing out. It made such a difference. I found it so much easier to do the two steps at a time.

I don't know what to call the exercise at the top of the third set, so I'm going to try describing it. Basically I did a "run, run, run, run, run" on the spot, then got down flat on the ground when Krissi said "drop". The first time I got to my knees and then down. Krissi showed me how to do it without kneeling, as that was better for my knees. It was a struggle not to kneel first so we both had the giggles at some of my contortions. The third time Krissi wanted me to stop leaning on my leg as I stood up, which introduced a new set of contortions and giggles.

Minor aside: TB is reading an article about a Carlton Football Club bootcamp to me while I'm typing, which is making it hard to concentrate. It certainly sounds a lot tougher than the bootcamp we've been doing. I suggested he send it to Krissi and Brad as they might get some ideas for us. "No way!"

Now he's looking at Princess Park renovation photos ... this is sad. I've just had it explained to me that it's "Visy Park" and I'm being given the opportunity to solve the "Who am I?" Why do I suddenly have the urge to go to the Western Bulldogs website?

Back to business.

I had meant to go to the gym regularly to do weights, but I haven't managed it lately. Fortunately, I've been doing upper body work at bootcamp, so I am still seeing improvement from week to week with my chest presses. I've found this particular exercise quite educational over the past twelve months and I'm glad we've gone back to it with this particular program. It's the first exercise I ever reached failure with. It's also the exercise where I've learnt that I still have more left even when I think I don't. I seem to be able to mentally dig a bit deeper and push a little more than I could before, and I'm seeing the benefit of this in my running. I've also learned that the body recovers its strength amazingly during the rest between sets. That helps a lot between uphills.

I didn't exercise at all last weekend, unless you count shopping and gardening as exercise. Actually, weeding the garden involves a lot of bending and squatting so I think you probably can count gardening. I had a long day on Monday, as I worked in the morning and then went in the truck with TB from Canberra to Sydney and back. I asked a while ago if I could go with him one day, as I had never driven that road before. TB thought I was crazy to suggest it, however, after several weeks of "Where are you? How far away is that? How long will it be before you get home?" he realised that it might save him a lot of explanation.

I really enjoyed the trip. The view from the truck is great. In case any of my readers know anything about trucks, TB is driving a heavy rigid truck. It takes a bit of climbing up into the passenger seat. TB was quite amused to see me struggle my way in and out of the truck. I did find that my lower back got quite tired with all the sitting. Thank goodness for having learnt at the gym that your back starts to "help" when you're getting tired. I was able to turn on my abs and straighten up my posture to take the pressure off my lower back, so I didn't end up too stiff and sore.

On Tuesday Krissi and I went for a run from Braddon to Lyneham and back. It was amusing to be running back towards home after driving to Braddon. I was tempted to call in on TB but I didn't think Krissi would let me stop long enough to have a coffee. It was a good run. We covered about 7.5 km in just under an hour.

On Wednesday I was up at stupid o'clock to catch the first flight to Melbourne and I was out until stupid o'clock having dinner with workmates. Somehow on Thursday morning I managed to head out at 6 am for a run along the Yarra. At least I didn't have a hangover to contend with as I'd used the "I'm running" reason for drinking water all night. The other benefit of the "I'm running" reason is that I then feel obligated to back up the claim by actually going for a run. It was another good run. I enjoy all the activity along the river. I found myself running rather than jogging, so when I got to the "do I do another loop" decision point I decided to skip the loop and see if I could keep the pace up all the way back to the hotel. It wasn't much faster than my jogging pace but it felt quite different to be running.

Next week I'll have my usual PT sessions, lunchtime bootcamp, a 'circuit' at the War Memorial, and whatever running I manage to get out there and do. I'll have to try to organise myself to get to the gym as well. With all the Christmas lunches and dinners coming up, I'll have to be exercising to make up for the celebrations.